Monday, September 07, 2015
Ricki and the Flash (Directed by Jonathan Demme; Written by Diablo Cody)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Audra McDonald
My thoughts on this film: Ricki is no rock star, although she clearly chased the dream. We learn of this when we see her working as a checker at the local supermarket, and then again when her ex-husband calls her home to Indianapolis in a desperate attempt to pull their daughter Julie out of a suicidal depressive state brought on by her husband leaving for another woman.
The movie's peak occurs with the family dinner scene, as Ricki is united with her three kids, including sons Josh and Adam. It does not take long before true emotions are bubbling over causing much discomfort throughout the restaurant. See, Ricki left her family to chase her music dream, leaving Kline and his second wife Maureen to provide a sense of normal family life.
The band does a nice job with the familiar songs, and Meryl Streep is effective as the lead singer and audience favourite. However, it is difficult to understand why so much time is devoted to the musical performances with such an the extensive family drama set-up. A perfect example is that once the final act hits, Julie is given no more dialogue. It is a strange turn.
The script does make a couple of very interesting points. The first involves the repercussions of a mother in chasing her dream. Ricki compares herself and perception to that of Mick Jagger. The second involves addressing the 'job' of a parent to love their kids. Either of these could be the central theme of a very interesting film, but as with other topics, the surface is barely scratched here. Despite the odd choices in the plot, it is clear that Streep is loving her time on stage.
Worth seeing for a good time, but nothing out of the ordinary!