Ricki and the Flash : Movie Review

Ricki and the Flash (2015) - Movie Poster
"Ricki and The Flash" may not be the most complex or demanding film of 2015, and it may not be the deepest, but, in terms of the unadulterated buzzy joy and comfort it evokes from every frame, there will likely be few that match it. Director Jonathan Demme (2008's "Rachel Getting Married"), screenwriter Diablo Cody (2011's "Young Adult"), and star Meryl Streep (2014's "Into the Woods") are each near the top of their respective fields, and they come together here for what works concurrently as a poignant family drama, an incisive, frequently biting human comedy, and an infectiously soulful concert musical. Though the picture runs an appropriate but fleet 102 minutes, one cannot help but wish it would keep going—and then go a little bit longer after that.

Twenty-plus years ago, Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep) went by Linda Brummel. She was a wife to Pete (Kevin Kline) and a mother to three young children, but at a certain point she could no longer deny her true passion to be a musician. She left her family behind in Indianapolis for the starry lights of L.A., released one solo album, and now, in her sixties, sings nightly at a San Fernando Valley bar with her trusty cover band The Flash. Ricki may not have much money—she also works a day job as a Total Foods checkout clerk—but she's not unhappy with the life she has made for herself. When Pete calls to inform her that daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) is not taking well the news of her impending divorce, Ricki makes the trip east to be there for her. A lot has changed in the intervening decades—Pete has remarried Maureen (Audra McDonald) and now lives in a spacious, upscale estate—and Ricki's grown kids continue to harbor resentments over her abandonment. As she gradually reconnects with an emotionally ailing Julie, Ricki must face up to the tough decisions she has made and try to make amends as best as she knows how.

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Author : Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com.