Ricki and the Flash - Great cast. So-so story by Diablo Cody. She’s a young sharp writer. However, this movie is more Lifetime soap opera, than cutting edge tale. I was amused for my matinee price of $5 and the theater was nice and cool on a 100+ degree day. But even with heat delirium, I have to give this movie a C+/B-.
Aging rocker, Ricki (the amazing Meryl Streep) is playing with a bar house band (The Flash) by night, and checking groceries by day. She’s eking out a living, but loves the music scene in CA. Fear of commitment keeps her from embracing her lead guitarist, Greg ( yummy Rick Springfield). She gets a phone call from ex-husband (Kevin Kline- wonderful) that brings her back to the heartland of Indiana. Their daughter is being divorced. She’s distraught, tried to commit suicide, and he thinks it’s time for blood mother to show up and do something.
Family drama ensues. Daughter and sons resent mom for walking out a zillion years ago. They and their lives have moved on. BUT, no matter what Ricki (formerly Linda) is the mom and there’s room for redemption. Of course Kevin Kline and wife (Audra MacDonald – greatness) have a huge fantastic house and have given the “kids” now young adults stability and love. BUT……
The big BUT is the Ricki factor. Best scene In the movie is the confrontation between the stepmother and mother. Audra v. Meryl – face to face. I, of course, root for the stepmother who had to raise these kids, deal with the teen years, put up with the sickness, the sorrows, and got to cheer the good times. BUT……..no matter what, there’s the Mom factor. So, Ricki does her thing and the daughter is at least showering and dressing decently. Now, what about the older son’s impending nuptials. Will Ricki be invited to the wedding? Will everyone get along after all?
Let’s just say it does go predictable, and yes you’ll smile and enjoy the tunes. I yearned for a version of Rick’s hit “Jessie’s Girl”. Alas, not to be. But Meryl pulls off decent singing. That woman is a chameleon and can play anything. Ricki and the Flash is entertaining. This movie does not reveal anything new in the Prodigal storyline. Wait for it to stream, or see it super cheap on a hot summer day. No deep thinking needed, except how could Diablo Cody have written a better script for this highly credentialed cast?