Review – “Ricki & the Flash,” Directed by Jonathan Demme

(Image from wikimedia.org)

Ricki is a rock-star.  Well, at least that was the dream she pursued when she left her family and moved to California. Spoiler alert, it’s not Rick Springfield! Meryl Streep plays Ricki, the 60-year-old lead singer of a cover band – the Flash.  Mamie Gummer, Streep’s daughter, plays her troubled daughter, Julie, who with her two brothers harbor a lot of resentment towards their mother.  Ricki’s three children were raised by their stepmother, Maureen (Audra McDonald) and Dad, Pete (Kevin Kline).  They grew up more than comfortably, in a mansion, as opposed to Ricki, who’s in bankruptcy.

When Julie’s husband left her for another woman, her father turns to Ricki, because, we all know that as we go through life’s trials, sometimes we just need our Mom.  Except for very rare circumstances, no one loves you more than your Mother does.  When Ricki is feeling inadequate as a parent, Ricki’s boyfriend Greg, (Rick Springfield) the bassist in the Flash, said it best when he told her that kids don’t have to like their parents, it’s the parent’s job to love their kids – “that’s why you’re here.”

There was one technical error in the script that may bother anyone in the bankruptcy field, individuals don’t typically file Chapter 11; in Ricki’s situation, she would have been in Chapter 7. Despite that one word technicality, this movie is great! Once again Streep proves she can take any role and make it Oscar-worthy!  You may be thinking that she doesn’t seem like the rock-star type, but she pulls it off convincingly!  Mamie Gummer also does a great job and the mother-daughter chemistry between them is extraordinary. Rick Springfield and Kevin Kline are perfect for their roles as well.

Go see “Ricki & the Flash.”  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll rock out, but most of all you’ll appreciate your family.  “Ricki & the Flash” reminds us that no matter what conflicts lie within your family, love is the glue that bonds you, always and no matter how broken your heart is, as Ricki says, “it’s like a Big Mac, it lasts forever!”  – BMT

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