Ricki and the Flash – Film Review


Ricki and the Flash – Film Review by Frank L.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Writer: Diablo Cody
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer

It is rude to refer to a lady’s age but it is hard to believe that Meryl Streep is rising 67 years of age as you watch her strutting her stuff as Ricki, the lead singer in a rock band. She had walked out on her family (two sons and a daughter) in Indianapolis when they were but chislers in order to follow her star. She has scraped a living at a supermarket checkout and other grisly low-paid jobs in California so that she can fund her dream of being a good old fashioned rocker in a band. In the Saltwell bar, a down-beat joint with an eclectic rooky clientele, she has her loyal band of admirers and she is, within the walls of the Saltwell, their rock star. Away from the Saltwell, she is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Out of the blue, her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) telephones to inform her that their daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) is in a bad way following the bust-up of her marriage. She flies to Indianapolis to reconnect with her long discarded family and their well-heeled existence. Her kids are unsurprisingly cool about her reappearance and Julie is outright hostile. Pete’s new wife Maureen (Audra McDonald), who was meant to be away looking after her aged mother, unexpectedly returns. She has a few home truths for Rikki. And so it continues.

However Rikki’s heart is in the right place even if she is naïve as to how the world works. An olive branch is offered and a variety of further ones follow. As is already obvious the plot is pretty creaky.

On the other hand the standard of acting throughout is high. The script is a vehicle for Streep to demonstrate her formidable talents which she does. She apparently had to learn the guitar to play the role; she does so with panache. She together with the fine supporting cast hold the entire edifice together for an enjoyable musical romp. Notwithstanding the inadequacies of the plot, it would be hard not to enjoy Streep’s stellar performance. She is a tour de force.


Categories: Header, Movie Review, Movies, Music

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