the guardian Fri 25 July 2008
Pippa Lee, successful spouse and mother, anticipator of all needs before her own, does not demur when husband Herb, a star publisher 30 years her senior, suggests they move to the retirement community of Marigold Village. Herb, permanently on medication after a heart bypass but still vigorous and strong, seems to fit in, but Pippa soon finds its sedentary society oppressive and begins to slip into the role of desperate housewife, smoking in secret, sleepwalking and forming an odd bond with her neighbour's troubled son. At this point Pippa's life prior to Herb's entrance is revealed in a series of flashbacks - the rebellious child enduring a love/hate relationship with a prescription drug-dependent mother, the teenager escaping to New York, and the experimental, joyless experiences of the ensuing years until the fateful meeting with older, married Herb. Unrestrainedly, satisfyingly bizarre, and intensely cinematic, the story almost topples over towards the end as Pippa's Thelma-and-Louise-style reawakening flails into farce.