Ricki and the Flash
Director: Jonathan Demme
Writer: Diablo Cody
Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield, Audra McDonald, Sebastian Stan, Nick Westrate, Hailey Gates, Ben Platt, Bill Irwin
Seen on: 9.9.2015
Ricki (Meryl Streep) is a singer with her own band, but also a dayjob at a supermarket. Many years ago, she decided to pursue her music rather than stay with her family and is estranged from both her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) and her children Julie (Mamie Gummer), Josh (Sebastian Stan) and Adam (Nick Westrate) who were brought up by Pete’s new wife Maureen (Audra McDonald). But after Julie separates from her husband and falls into a deep depression, Pete calls Ricki for help, forcing all of them to take stock of their relationships with each other.
Ricki and the Flash is an entertaining film with a great cast. I probably won’t remember it forever, but I had fun while it lasted.
I’m not really a fan of Diablo Cody’s scripts, but I’d say that Ricki and the Flash is her best one so far (from what I’ve seen). It feels the most natural and there is a certain maturity to how she explores the relationships between Ricki, her family and her boyfriend and band member Greg (Rick Springfield) that was missing before and that I very much enjoyed.
The characters were also very well fleshed out, which is partly due to the script, but probably even more so due to the cast that was simply amazing. Of course, Meryl Streep – who, after Mamma Mia! surprisingly, does know how to sing – in a rocker get-up with weird hair and an openly displayed USAmerican, patriotic conservativism is bound to hog a lot of the limelight, but the entire cast was great and worked beautifully together.
The movie moves along quickly, helped by the great soundtrack that supports and enhances the movie’s energy and pace. I could also get behind its conciliatory message that if you accept responsibility for your behavior and try to make good things happen for the people you love, things are probably going to go pretty well.
But in the end, Ricki and the Flash doesn’t really have anything new to offer. And while I laughed and enjoyed it, I don’t think that I’ll keep thinking about it much in the future.