Ricki and the Flash Starring Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer Is there anything this woman cannot do, the brilliant Meryl Streep stars as ‘Ricki Rendazzo’, an older musician who long ago gave up on her family life in the pursuit of rock n’ roll stardom; nowadays, Ricki spends her nights performing for a small, though loyal, crowd at a California bar with her band, The Flash. When Ricki’s ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) asks for her help caring for their daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) who suffered a breakdown after being dumped and divorced by her husband – Ricki agree and makes the long journey across the country to Indianapolis, to see the family she left behind. Ricki thereafter slowly, but surely, begins to rekindles ties with Julie and Pete alike, though even more awkwardness ensues when she reunites with her two grown sons, Joshua and Adam, as well as Pete’s wife, Maureen (Audra McDonald). However, with encouragement from her band mate and would-be lover Greg (Rick Springfield), Ricki refuses to give up on this second chance to make things right with her children. Meryl Streep’s performance as Ricki is refreshingly messy and multi-faceted, but the movie’s other characters feel short-changed, in terms of their development. There’s not a weak link in the chain of Ricki and the Flash‘s cast as far as their acting is concerned, but most of their roles aren’t provided enough depth to amount to more than relatable, yet at the same time familiar archetypes. The film also touches upon a number of worthwhile issues (about family and women’s career choices but tends to do so in a heavy-handed way. Streep, as usual brings emotional weight (as well as some solid real-life singing and guitar-playing) to the Ricki character, making her a memorable highlight. Her scenes with Rick Springfield also crackle, as the actor/ musician brings emotional authenticity to his role. Mamie Gummer (Streep’s real-life daughter) has a pretty naturalistic screen chemistry, even while they’re playing a motherdaughter couple that’s very different from themselves. Ricki and the Flash is a half-baked comedy/ drama, but the cast (including Meryl Streep’s aging rocker) makes it a charming one.
Rated PG 7 out of 10
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