Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 83
    Flashes of dark humor and steady, grounded performances make it a welcome return for Miller, making her first film since 2005's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose."
  2. Reviewed by: Liz Beardsworth
    This is way more than it seems and manages to surprise and enchant throughout.
  3. 75
    Miller never really fleshes out all of these colorful characters in her emotionally facile script, leaving the heavy lifting to the actors. Fortunately for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Wright is more than up to the challenge.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Wright gives the title character a complexity and emotional shading often missing in this kind of ensemble comedy/drama. Pippa has the feel of a heroine in literature, rather than on the big screen.
  5. Rebecca Miller’s fourth film is a wry, acutely observant drama.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    Unfortunately, writer-director Rebecca Miller's script tries so hard to be nervous and edgy that it ultimately succeeds only in making its viewers nervous and edgy.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    It almost works. We almost care about her. A whopper of a plot twist late in the game explains Pippa's transformation as some kind of self-flagellatory penance, but by that point it feels like an afterthought.
  8. Awkward in ways both intended and not, the fourth feature from author and director Rebecca Miller is an attempt at a comic change of pace for the usually earnest Miller.
  9. The mix is Lifetime soap–meets–Woody Allen smart-set comedy, with less humor and a genteel Connecticut setting.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Perched uncomfortably between flat whimsy and Lifetime movie crescendos, the coming-of-middle-age comic drama The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is rough going.
  11. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Feels as schizophrenic as its eponymous heroine.
  12. 50
    For a movie about the unpredictability of life, Pippa Lee plays it awfully safe.
  13. By turns antic, frantic, and dull, "Pippa Lee" is unconvincing – emotionally, dramatically, filmically.
  14. Adult children and friends watch nervously as Pippa reclaims a measure of spunk; too bad it all feels like one of those pharmaceutical ads for longer, healthier lifestyles.
  15. In this densely populated ensemble piece, Reeves stands out as the only actor whose damaged character evokes sympathy and avoids cliché. Pippa, played by Wright Penn in near-permanent Stepford Wife mode, isn't much more than a vehicle for false epiphanies and forced rapprochements.
  16. These actors know how to liven up a room, yet here they're forced to perform in Miller's Theater for the Overwritten.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 27, 2013
    This film is certainly one of the strongest of 2009. For a frame of reference, the others were Fish Tank, A Single Man, Port of Call New Orleans: Bad Lieutenant and Watchmen.

    Well done all actors here and even more so to Rebecca Miller for pulling it off with such aplomb. A movie with flashbacks that are never of the tedious, by-rote type of so many films, the structure is surprising in a very good way. Of the actors, only Zoe Kazan, daughter of Communist witchhunt namer of names, Elia Kazan, is unconvincing. Everyone else here is nigh-on perfect including Keanu Reeves who gives a lovely, understated performance while endearingly retaining certain of his acting 'tics'. If any reader of this appreciates any films in the following list, then this one will go down well too: The Secret Life of Words, the Visitor, A Single Man, Welcome to the Riley's or the Kids are All Right. There are no guns, explosions, violent twists in plot, and it doesn't rely on suspense. Nothing here is so unsubtle, but then neither is this a 'women's movie' (like Steel Magnolia's or films along those lines) or an arthouse movie. The characters are sensitively drawn and expressive while the structure of the film makes is constantly interesting.
    Full Review »
  2. Lyn
    Jul 10, 2011
    I'm a big fan of Robin Wright, whose work on screen never seems anything less than real. I thought that excellent acting by her -- and others in the cast -- elevated it above the rather disjointed melodrama it could have been. I also thought the casting was very good; Blake Lively really looked like a plausible younger version of Wright, for example. Full Review »
  3. EggyG.
    Feb 15, 2010
    Has some great moment....but the plot was just too slow and scattered. Solid performance from 'naturally old' Robin Wright though.