Pin It

Film Review: "Ricki and the Flash 

Rock singer Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep) once dreamed of filling stadiums, but in the years since she first set off on her career, she's settled for a weekly gig playing for a small but loyal crowd of regulars at a divey bar in Tarzana, California. As "Ricki and the Flash" begins, Ricki receives a call from her ex-husband (Kevin Kline) that their daughter, Julie (Streep's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer) has fallen into a suicidal depression after the collapse of her own marriage. To her credit, Ricki doesn't hesitate in hopping on a plane back to Indianapolis, even knowing that it means returning to the family she abandoned decades earlier. Director Jonathan Demme is mining similar terrain as his wonderful "Rachel Getting Married" (the director has a gift for staging movie weddings I wouldn't mind attending), though the results are a little more uneven here. Still, "Ricki" has plenty of charm, offering something akin to the familiar pleasure of hearing a favorite rock song come on the radio.

Writer Diablo Cody adds another memorable female character to her eclectic filmography, giving Streep a complex, surprising character to sink her teeth into. The actress is (no surprise) quite good, delivering a human-sized performance that holds up against the type of towering characters she typically portrays. Cody's script is smart about the way music can function as a tool to connect us to others, and she never makes Ricki feel regret over the decisions she's made, even if they haven't landed her exactly where she'd hoped. Though the concept is familiar, the film finds ways to inject its story with an appealing, messy humanity.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Movie Reviews

More by Adam Lubitow

Browse Listings

Submit an event
  • Re: Our national emergency

    • Congratulations Cupid. You managed to drag in just about every cliche utilized by Trump and…

    • on February 22, 2019
  • Re: Sinclair TV spreads the conservative message

    • "...McPherson says Sinclair is exposing a broader audience to a conservative viewpoint using the "sheen…

    • on February 22, 2019
  • Re: Adam McFadden facing federal charges

    • Damn!... is EVERYONE involved in politics full of ????

    • on February 22, 2019
  • More »
  • This Week's Issue

    Cover Story:
    Yarms: a profile in musical curiosity
    If you’ve frequented the folk and singer-songwriter circuits in Rochester in the last 10 years, you’ve probably heard Ryan Yarmel play. Every Wednesday this month at Abilene Bar and Lounge, Yarmel is hosting a stylistically diverse concert series called the “Yarms February Frolic.” read more ...

    Tweets @RocCityNews

    © 2019 City Newspaper.

    Website powered by Foundation.