Ricki and The Flash Movie Review: A Mother's Redemption #RickiJunket #RickiandtheFlash
Ricki and the Flash opening in theaters today August 7, 2015 and aims to showcase Meryl Streep's god-given abilities. I don't think there is anything she CAN'T do at this point and it's what audiences expect from such an accomplished actress.
I am Meryl Streep, hear me roa- growl out rock tunes!
Note: I was invited by Sony as media to the screening and press junket. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.
Written by Christina Chin, who's hip, fashionable and located in New York City.
The movie centers on Ricki (Meryl Streep), essentially a hard rockin' deadbeat mom that left her midwestern life, husband and kids to pursue her dreams of rock and roll stardom in LA. Ricki then has to semi-face the music when one of her kids (Julie, played by real life daughter Mamie Gummer) has a personal crisis and she returns home to try to make amends.
Going into the movie screening, I had no expectations since this type of family drama isn't my usual cup of tea. But that being said, the overall acting was top notch by all cast members (do you really expect anything less from Meryl?) and the live music performances and cover songs Ricki and the Flash belt out throughout the movie were entertaining between the uneven dialogue.
The focus on the mother/daughter tension when Ricki returns home is palpable and held a lot of promise for great dynamic dialogue. Julie (Mamie Gummer's character) really stood out to me. She initially lashes out at her absentee mom and rages against everyone during a hilarious and awkward dinner scene, while coping with her failed marriage.
However, the resolution of their conflict near the end and Julie's forgiveness to her mom felt a bit forced and rushed in my opinion. Your depressive daughter just tried committing suicide and all you have to do is take her out for food and a mani/pedi and all is forgiven?!
The rest of cast makes the most with the parts they are given - Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl!) as Greg, the love interest/lead guitarist that holds his own against Ricki.
Kevin Kline as the long suffering ex-hubby and Audra McDonald as Maureen, the attentive loving stepmom you want to hate for Ricki's sake but end up realizing she's pretty great.
The sons (played by Sebastian Stan and Nick Westrate) almost seem like an afterthought, they are there because they should be, but their issues with their mom are not as important as Julie's.
I think that was my main issue with the movie. How it's sold as a redemption story between Ricki and her family and while it does end 'happily' in a classic wedding finale scene, I left the screening wondering if Ricki really redeemed herself.
As Meryl mentioned in the press junket, Ricki ultimately isn't sorry for what she is or the decisions she made to leave her family and become a rockstar. She's not suddenly going to be the responsible mom her kids wanted growing up, she's still going to keep pursuing her dream.
In the end, Meryl Streep fans and Rick Springfield fans will likely enjoy this movie, watching Meryl rock out and look like she's having a blast doing it is entertainment all on its own!
Meryl Streep takes on a whole new gig – a hard-rocking singer/guitarist – for Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody in Ricki and the Flash. In an original and electrifying film loaded with live musical performances, Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock-and-roll stardom.
Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer; Rick Springfield, portraying a Flash member in love with Ricki; Kevin Kline as Ricki’s ex-husband; and Audra McDonald as Kline’s new wife.
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language)
To learn more, visit - www.rickiandtheflashmovie.com
On Facebook - www.facebook.com/RickiAndTheFlash
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/RickiMovie