Skip to main content

Dan's Review: "Ricki and The Flash" a mediocre family drama

Aug 13, 2015 04:03PM, Published by Dan Metcalf, Categories: Arts+Entertainment


Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash - © Sony Pictures.



Ricki and The Flash (Sony/Tristar)

Rated PG - 13 for thematic material, brief drug content, sexuality and language.

Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Audra McDonald, Sebastian Stan, Rick Springfield, Ben Platt, Charlotte Rae, Rick Rosas, Gabriel Ebert, Nick Westrate, Hailey Gates.

Written by Diablo Cody.

Directed by Jonathan Demme.

GRADE: C+

REVIEW:

If you’re sick of Meryl Streep and all the accolades she gets just for showing up on screen every year, there’s good news: Sometimes, she allowed to make a mediocre movie in which she can deliver a non-Oscar-worthy performance. Of course, a subpar performance from Streep is equivalent to gushing reviews for the rest of the acting world. Ricki and The Flash is one of those movies that won’t make the list of great Streep films (yes, there are a few), but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, an aging singer in a rock band relegated to playing a regular gig at dive bar in Tarzana, Calif. Ricki’s world changes when she gets word that her estranged daughter Julie (Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer) is going through extreme psychological distress after her husband leaves her. Ricki heads to Indiana, where her wealthy ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) allows her to stay in his home to help bring Julie back from the brink. It turns out Ricki’s real name is Linda, and she left her family behind years ago to pursue her musical career. Besides Julie, she also left her sons Adam (Nick Westrate) and Josh (Sebastian Stan) behind. Josh is engaged to Emily (Hailey Gates).

As Ricki hangs around, Julie perks up. The relationship with her sons is strained, especially when Pete’s wife Maureen returns from visiting her sick father. Maureen eventually kicks Ricki out, and she returns to California to rejoin the band and strike up a romance with her lead guitarist Greg (Rick Springfield). When an invitation for Josh and Emily’s wedding comes, Ricki must decide whether to return to Indiana and risk further embarrassment.

Ricki and The Flash is a movie with a predictable premise and heartfelt intent. Streep’s pedestrian greatness is always present on screen, but the story and script (written by Diablo Cody) make Ricki and The Flash feel disjointed and inconsistent, especially in the final scene. The music is enjoyable, and Streep displays her commitment to her craft by providing all the vocals and some of the instrumentals in the movie. The “Flash” band is played by real ‘Rock n’ Roll’ professionals with impressive resumes, too.  

Rick Springfield also deserves a little credit for his role in the movie - both as a musician and actor. His portrayal is somewhat autobiographical, and you can sense the real conflict in his performance. 

As a parent, I have a hard time reconciling “following your dream” with abandoning your kids, so the lead character of Ricki is a little hard to fathom. There are a lot family issues that can’t be reconciled with a few musical numbers. Life isn’t like that, and all can’t be forgotten and forgiven just because Mom has a great cover band.



Ricki and The Flash Trailer



  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/27/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    04/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Arbor Day Celebration

    04/28/2017
    09:00AM — 07:30PM

    There’s no better place than Red Butte Garden to celebrate Arbor Day! As Utah’s very own arboretu...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/28/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/29/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/30/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/01/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/01/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • West Jordan Football Spirit Night

    05/02/2017
    10:30AM — 10:00PM

    West Jordan High School Football Team Spirit Night. Come out and show your support for your loca...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/02/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Overcoming Fear Workshop

    05/02/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    When you think about who you want to become, do you feel overwhelmed and a little hopeless? Do yo...


  • Seeds of Remembrance

    05/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program will hold its annual Seeds of Remembrance...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/03/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/27/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    04/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Arbor Day Celebration

    04/28/2017
    09:00AM — 07:30PM

    There’s no better place than Red Butte Garden to celebrate Arbor Day! As Utah’s very own arboretu...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/28/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/29/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    04/30/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/01/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/01/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • West Jordan Football Spirit Night

    05/02/2017
    10:30AM — 10:00PM

    West Jordan High School Football Team Spirit Night. Come out and show your support for your loca...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/02/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Overcoming Fear Workshop

    05/02/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    When you think about who you want to become, do you feel overwhelmed and a little hopeless? Do yo...


  • Seeds of Remembrance

    05/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program will hold its annual Seeds of Remembrance...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/03/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/04/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/05/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/05/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/06/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/07/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/08/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/08/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/09/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Relationship Workshop

    05/09/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    How easy is it for you to be happy if your important relationships are tense or brittle? If I had...


  • Seasonal Superfoods

    05/09/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Your body is a tool to make you happy—to feel joy, passion, and creativity. It functions on the f...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/10/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/10/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/11/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/12/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/12/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 Race for the Cure

    05/13/2017
    07:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join as more than 4,000 individuals, teams and business Race for the Cure. Fundraise today to hel...


  • Annual Spring Plant Sale

    05/13/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    • Huge variety of vegetables and herbs • Over 60 varieties of heirlooms: tomatoes, peppers, cucu...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/13/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunset Coffee in Sandy, Utah — May 13, 2017 - The charitable event will ...


  • Elegant Ella - Centennial Celebration

    05/13/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Join us for an evening of song on May 13th, 2017 for a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald. Thi...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/14/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/15/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/15/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/16/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    05/17/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/17/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    05/18/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


 

 

 

 

 

Follow us on Facebook
Online Edition South Salt Lake
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974