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The candy-colored ’60s interiors and cheerful music belie the sadness and hysteria hiding just beneath the surface of the TV commercial “perfection.” It’s Blake Lively as the younger Pippa and Bello as her deeply unhappy mother that steal the show.
She genuinely enjoys the attention — something that comes into play in much more dangerous ways later in her life.At the party, she beams a practiced smile at her surrounding friends and family — her elder husband, Herb (Alan Arkin), her son Ben (Ryan Mc Donald) and friends from the writing world, including the exuberant novelist Sam (Mike Binder) and his neurotic wife Sandra (Winona Ryder).Sam toasts the founder of the feast, calling her a mystery — the “perfect artist’s wife.” In a voiceover she says, “To be perfectly honest, I’ve had enough of being an enigma, I want to be known,” as she fires up a round of perfectly crisped crème brulee desserts.Gone is the “whoa” persona from his action hero days, as he imbues Chris with a tiredness and a genuine sense of thoughtfulness.Exactly the opposite is Alan Arkin as Herb, who is essentially a man who cannot come to terms with his own aging and death. Herb isn’t exactly a stand-up fellow, nor is he quite a villain.
Kat’s vices aside (and entirely unknown to her partner), Trish is the most responsible parent figure in the whole film.