#REVIEW: “RICKI AND THE FLASH”
Fans of Jonathan Demme‘s Rachel Getting Married will find plenty to like about his latest, Ricki and The Flash. Penned by Academy Award Winner Diablo Cody (Juno), the Film in may ways acts as a companion piece to the other, both centering ultimately on a wedding. At the heart of the Story is Linda (Meryl Streep), who is estranged from her three children after divorcing husband Pete (Kevin Kline), beginning a new life in L.A.
Certainly not short on talent, Linda‘s Rock Star dreams never quite came true, but instead these days finding plenty of joy performing to small crowds locally along with her Boyfriend/Bandmate Greg (Rick Springfield). Her effort to reconnect with her now-single daughter Julie (played by Streep‘s real-life daughter Mamie Gunner) turns sour when she is forced to confront painfully her own failures as a mother especially with the presence of their Stepmother Maureen (Audra McDonald). After learning of her son Joshua‘s (Sebastian Stan) upcoming wedding and without the funds needed to attend it, we wonder if Linda will miss her big break to reconcile with her Family.
Ricki and The Flash is a joyous occasion and yet once again, the Queen of all Cinema Streep, manages to flex new muscles we haven’t yet seen. Sure we’ve seen her get musical in Mamma Mia and last year’s Into the Woods, but she transforms fully into a bona-fide Musician here. Everything is mastered from the raspy vocals to the swagger of a real Guitarist. We are mesmerized by her true display of musical showmanship and before the credits roll even, we find ourselves clamouring to download the Soundtrack, a mixture of well-produced Rock Covers ranging from P!nk‘s Get This Party Started to Bruce Springsteen‘s My Love Will Not Let You Down.
While we admit to being blinded by the music which skilfully is used to fill gaps in the Story, Streep‘s honest, heartfelt performance wins us over. We believe at her very core she is determined to right her past. Her fish-out-of-water very much is like Anne Hathaway‘s Kym in Rachel Getting Married, but certainly much more likable. We also forget what a natural presence Rock Star Springfield is on-screen with his impressive Résumé tracing back to the early ’70s. He carries a weatheredness about Greg which works perfectly with Streep‘s quirky Linda.
Demme takes us on a real emotional journey filled with laughter and yes, tears, as we cannot help but root for our endearingly-flawed Heroine. She’s sexual, she’s insecure, she’s brazen and we’re certain you’ll love her as much as we do.
Sony Pictures Canada release RICKI AND THE FLASH on Thursday, August 6, 2015.