RICKI AND THE FLASH – Rated PG-13

Ricki-And-The-Flash-Images

“ Whoa, Mom, your here! Like the 80’s all over again…”

From the Director who has brought us such epics films as SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILEDELPHIA and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE – JONATHAN DEMME, comes a tale of the importance of following your dreams ~ even if it is at the expense of your entire family ~ with his latest film – RICKI AND THE FLASH.

As Ricki/Linda (Meryl Streep) makes her way through life in California, playing her guitar and singing her nights away as the lead singer of the band, THE FLASH, things haven’t been playing out well for her daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) back on the home front in the Midwest.

When ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) reaches out in hopes that she can reconnect with her daughter on some level to ease the woes of her impending divorce, Ricki decides its time to head back to find out what is really going on.

No one is there to welcome Ricki with open arms, especially not her sons Josh (Sebastian Stan) and Adam (Nick Westrate), as they too feel abandoned by their music-loving mama. To complicate matters, Pete’s present wife, and the woman who has raised Ricki’s children, Maureen (Audra McDonald), is presently out of town, taking care of her ailing father…leaving Pete and Linda some alone time to reminisce about the past…

As Ricki tries to mend bridges with the family she left behind, by dolling out some too little-too late motherly advise to her grown children, back in Cali, her boyfriend and fellow member of the FLASH, Greg (Rick Springfield) is pinning away, waiting for the love of his life to return to his arms, and his bed…

I give RICKI AND THE FLASH 3 out of 5 Stars: From the trailer I had a feeling that this film wasn’t going to be one of Streep’s epic performances that have warranted her 19 Academy Award nods, and I was right. Even though parts of the storyline weren’t exactly awful, and seeing Rick Springfield and Kevin Kline back on the big screen did add to the enjoyment of viewing this film, plus, in actuality, I am a big believer in living out your dreams too, but the premise that a mother would leave her entire family to live out her life as a two bit singer, only to be so down and out that you can’t afford to attend one of your children’s weddings, just played out as ludacris to me. Don’t get me wrong, I AM A BIG FAN OF STREEP and her legacy of work ~ 3 Academy Awards is IMPRESSIVE, but when she decided to take on another singing role after the lack luster appeal I had for role in Mama Mia~ I was hoping that the singing would be better ~ I mean SHE IS PLAYING A ROCKER this time around, but sadly, it was just as bad. Maybe she thinks she really can sing, maybe she wanted to do this film to provide her star power to a film directed by Demme, or maybe she did this film as a vehicle for her real-life daughter to show her inherited talent too. But, whatever the case may be, I can’t figure out why she is making the role choices she is, at this point in her career. Even the REIGNING QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD’s career isn’t going to survive many more of these subpar outings… and RICKI AND THE FLASH was just that, subpar at best!

Kathy Kaiser