Friday, August 7, 2015
Themes of family dysfunction, forgiveness and acceptance in relationships and rock and roll music collide and intertwine to great effect in the new movie Ricki and The Flash opening in theaters today. The film, which falls into the comedy, drama and music genres, stars Meryl Streep (who though turning 66 in June still looks amazing) playing Ricki, an aging rock star lead singer and guitarist opposite real-life child Mamie Gummer as her distraught on-screen daughter Julie.
If you watch the trailer prior to seeing this picture on the big screen it's easy to assume that this is just going to be another light-hearted chick flick about a mother-daughter relationship transformation that happens to star one of the greatest actresses of all time who might sing a song or two because she's so multi-talented. True one of the multiple storylines is about a mother and daughter reconnecting. But you'd be wrong to stop there because this film is so much more, both on the dramatic and musical sides.
Shortly after the story opens Ricki, who years ago deserted her hubbie Pete (Kevin Kline who last played opposite Streep in Sophie's Choice) and their three young kids to pursue her dream to become a rock singer in California, returns home. She's come back to try and make up for lost time by supporting now grownup daughter Julie who is in the throes of great pain after her husband has left her.
Leaving her own rocky relationship with bandmate and boyfriend Greg (real life rock star Rick Springfield) behind, she heads home to the Midwest only to walk into a hornet's nest of resentment and friction from a host of family members who include not only her daughter but her two sons (one engaged to be married, one who just came out as gay), ex-husband and stepmother of her children as well.
Streep, queen of character development, is at her best in this highly entertaining movie where musical lyrics don't just serve as a backdrop, they collectively represent their own parallel storyline as she comes home to face the music of her long-lost family life.
Watching the multiple Academy Award winner in character singing and dancing with her rock band Ricki and The Flash will make you smile and if you're like me you might get lost in her astonishing performances throughout the movie, tapping your foot to the music. In fact, as a singer actress in this film, she is beyond amazing, actually singing 10 of the 14 songs on the Ricki and The Flash soundtrack that is now available on iTunes.
Going into opening weekend, critics are already raving about this movie. That's no surprise considering that in Ricki and The Flash Streep is equally in her element whether delivering her lines in emotional or comedic family dramatic scenes or rocking, singing and dancing on stage with her band. It's a really good thing this movie gives just about the same airtime to all the dysfunctional family drama and comedy as it does to Streep's energetic and rocking musical performances, delivering the best of both worlds to the audience.
Those of you who are Baby Boomers like I am are going to feel like you're back in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s because this picture features some of the hottest hits of those iconic decades originally recorded by artists like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Edgar Winter, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs and others.
About Ricki and The Flash
Ricki and The Flash, from Sony Pictures Entertainment, is directed by Oscar-winning Jonathan Demme and written by Academy Award winner Diablo Cody. Stars include Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield and others. Released on Friday, August 7, the film is now showing in theaters nationwide. Learn more about the movie by visiting Twitter, Facebook or Sony's official Ricki and The Flash site.
FTC Disclosure: Images provided by Sony Pictures. MommyBlogExpert was invited by Sony to a media screening of Ricki and The Flash prior to release but no payment or other compensation associated with this particular post was received. See complete FTC disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.