Thursday, 6 August 2015
Ricki and the Flash - Review
The film is about Ricki / Linda played by Meryl Streep who is an ageing singer songwriter in a house band in a bar. She left her family to follow her dream of being a Rockstar and kind of lost a lot of things along the way. On the verge of bankruptcy she gets a call from her ex-husband to come to help their daughter who recently split from her husband and had a suicide attempt. Ricki/Linda was estranged from the family for many years and her ex-husband's new wife stepped in an took care of the mom stuff. Ricki/Linda arrives when the wife is out of town and she learns about the suicide attempt and does what she knows to try and get her daughter back from the brink. Her daughter is played by her real life daughter Mammie Gummer. Her ex husband is played by Kevin Kline who she has great chemistry with.
There are also 2 grown sons in the family and one is engaged which they neglected to tell Ricki/Linda about and didn't invite to their wedding for fear of embarrassment. Ricki/Linda is hurt but starts to understand the trail she left because of her leaving the family. Her other son is gay but she thought he was bi-sexual but just made the decision to be only with men. The only one that seems to be on her side is her ex-husband. While at the same time her bandmate Rick Springfield is in love with her and very supportive but she doesn't take their relationship seriously. I love Rick Springfield and think he is the perfect person to play an ageing Rockstar because he is a Rockstar and he is also an actor but the only thing I had a problem with was the chemistry between Rick Springfield and Meryl Streep. His character was a nice guy rockstar and she was a messed up broken woman but even though in real life there is only a 1 year difference in their age they seemed years apart in life for some reason. They just didn't seem to have the great chemistry that she did with Kevin Kline. The kissing scenes seemed awkward and forced.
The film was written by Diabalo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme who has made some great films in the past. This film was fun but there were a few things that seemed a little off.
Meryl Streep did a great job singing and I think her on screen persona was supposed to be something like Bonnie Raitt but I guess I know too many musicians and she just didn't come across as cool. Very surprising for Meryl as she always seems to step effortlessly into any character. What I can say is that when it came to the mom part she had that part down pat. Meryl spent something like 6 months learning guitar and getting callouses from all the practice but once again I noticed something amiss when the guitar playing didn't match up too well with the music in the film. That happens and musicians and movie geeks would notice it but I don't know if regular people will care.
I don't want to bash this film as I enjoyed a lot of it but I would have tweeked a couple of elements I think. I guess we will have to see how it does at the box office. I doubt this one will earn Meryl an Academy nomination but that's ok, I am sure she enjoyed the role and learned some new things and at the same time got to spend time with her daughter. It's all good in the end.
Go see it and decide for yourself.