Finally, a flaw. After four decades of brilliant performances, the world’s best actor or actress, Meryl Streep gives a so-so performance. It’s a minor complaint. She more than makes up for it by blowing our minds with some sizzling, rockstar quality, rock ‘n’ roll vocals.
Part of the problem with Ricki and the Flash is Streep not fitting the part of a befuddled, drunken, aging rocker. A peek down the co-star list offers a hint as to why she might have taken a part not up to her actress quality.
Daughter Mamie Gummer ( The End of Tour, Cake) is cast as Ricki’s daughter. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Gummer shows flashes of greatness and the promise of things to come.
Streep’s Ricki rocks with her band in a dive bar in California. Ex-husband Pete, played wonderfully by Kevin Kline, and three grown children live in Indianapolis. Daughter Julie is getting divorced and suffers a breakdown. Pete urges Ricki to come and help.
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That leads to reconciliation of sorts.
Ricki and the Flash has little light. Diablo Cody’s ( Juno) script feels unfinished and director Jonathan Demme ( The Silence of the Lambs) gives the movie — in spite of some fabulous rock courtesy of Streep, Rick Springfield and Joe Walsh drummer, Joe Vitale — zero energy and half-a-heart.