Review: Ricki and The Flash

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After my Mom and Dad divorced, she began to date.  One of the men Mama dated was nice and all, but one day he brought me and my little brother to his church and tried to pass us off as his kids???!!!  Being the direct person I am (even at 12 years old), I quickly reminded this brotha’ that I had a Dad and he WAS NOT it!

Can you imagine??!!  What was he thinking??!!! Did he really think I would let that slide?  Not only did I NOT let it slide…I promptly informed my mother and father who were non too thrilled about that little development.  Needless to say, he wasn’t around for long.

So, when I saw Ricki and The Flash, I could totally relate for the obvious reasons stated.  In a weird way, I totally connected with what Ricki (Meryl Streep) was going through.  You see, Ricki (Meryl Streep) struggled in her youth with having two dreams – being a mother and being a rockstar. When it became clear she couldn’t do both, so bounced to pursue the life of a rock star.

Years later, when her daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) attempts suicide after being dumped by her husband, Ricki returns to the life she left behind, which now has a whole new set of challenges for her, her three children, her ex-husband and his new wife.

Meryl Streep can literally play ANY type of character.  She is a freaking acting enigma!!!  For this character, she learned to play the electric guitar, in order to hold her own with rock superstar and onscreen love Rick Springfield (Greg).  And when I tell you she is shredding on the 10 songs featured in the film so fiercely, that I immediately wanted to run out and download the soundtrack!!!  It’s mostly cover songs, but and Meryl and  Rick worked it out!!!

Speaking of Rick Springfield, he was the perfect person to compliment Streep.  There was never any doubt regarding his musical chops, and after years of being on General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake, his acting is simple, impressive and very loving to Streep’s insecure, troubled Ricki.

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Mamie Gummer’s scenes are brief, but impactful.  She’s totally inherited the gift her Mom has of saying a million things with one look.  It kinda reminded me of Meryl Streep in “Kramer vs Kramer” and it was nice to see them onscreen together kicking cinema booty!

However, the standout performance of this film belongs to 6-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Maureen). Baby, there is a scene between her and Streep where you could hear a pin drop and the onscreen venom being spewed on such a visceral level made one hold their breath…literally.  

Not only that, but you really wanted to knock Miss Audra through a window!  That’s how compelling McDonald was as wifey #2, who basically stepped into the role of mother for Ricki’s three kids left behind.  It truly was the best moment of the film.

Jonathan Demme’s directorial request to keep Streep from talking to her daughter to create an awkward, uncomfortable relationship between mother and daughter totally works and kudos to him for making that choice for them.

Diablo Cody is no joke!!!  I loved “Juno”, was in love with “United States of Tara” and “Paradise”, but with this one,  she tackles a real issue for many women that is rarely if ever tackled in films with realism, gusto, tact and humor.  Thank you Miss Diablo!

Ricki and The Flash is alot of fun.  You will find yourselves singing along with the songs, laughing, crying and just having an overall good time.

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