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'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee': movie review

Adapted from Rebecca Miller's novel, 'The Private Lives of Pippa Lee' is an unconvincing exploration of one woman's complex past – and present.

By Peter Rainer / November 25, 2009



"The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" is writer-director Rebecca Miller's adaptation of her own novel, and the best that can be said for it is that it's not doggedly "novelistic." Blake Lively plays Pippa at 16, when she runs away from home and her diet-pill-addicted mother (Maria Bello). Robin Wright Penn is the adult Pippa, married to an older man (Alan Arkin), a publisher, and unhappy with their relocation from exciting New York to bland suburban Connecticut. Then a neighbor's recently divorced son, played by Keanu Reeves, moves in next door. Pretty soon Pippa's private lives aren't so private. By turns antic, frantic, and dull, "Pippa Lee" is unconvincing – emotionally, dramatically, filmically. Grade: C-

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