Meryl Streep leads an artist’s life as the titular character in Ricki and the Flash. Perpetually stuck in the ’80s, I’m going to agree with a blogger who wrote that Meryl Streep appears to be dressing in “Melissa Etheridge Drag” (I think someone said that on Dlisted). I totally agree, because it looks like Meryl Streep is about to “Come to My Window” at any point in the movie. Take a little Stevie Nicks and a dash of Bonnie Raitt, and you have Ricki Rendazzo from Ricki and the Flash.
Ricki ditched Indianapolis for LA to make it big as a rock star. Unfortunately her one album released in the ’80s only made it to about #172 on the Billboard charts, and Ricki now finds herself in dire straights working as a Whole Foods cashier while playing at a dive bar in the San Fernando Valley. Her unorthodox life left many hurt feelings, as she in fact had a husband and three kids back in the Midwest. Ricki observes that a Mick Jagger or a Robert Plant are quite free to get hooked on drugs or father kids with multiple women, but a female rocker like her gets raked over the coals for missing parent teacher conferences and soccer games when pursuing her dream. She makes a valid point, but Ricki’s irresponsibility has not been forgiven or forgotten by those she hurt along the way.
I recommend this movie, because wouldn’t it be funny to run into Meryl Streep at Whole Foods? It’s called “Total Foods” in the movie, but it’s obvious they couldn’t get Whole Food’s license to use the brand’s name. You’re standing there getting $15 cash back after paying $27.50 for a small bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice, and “Holy crap! Meryl Streep is about to take my Capital One Discover Card! I hope it’s not overdrawn.”
Anyway in the movie Ricki’s daughter, who is played by Meryl Streep’s actual daughter, is going through a rough spot because her husband ditched her for some girl who puts stick figure decals on the rear window of her Honda Civic. To be honest, I don’t blame the guy for leaving Meryl Streep’s daughter in the movie, since her daughter is kind of a pill. So Ricki’s ex-husband calls her to make an emergency trip to Indiana to pull the girl out of her funk. I don’t want to give too much away, but I laughed out loud at some of the one liners, and Meryl Streep’s musical performances definitely would take her to about 12th place if she entered “America’s Got Talent.”
Of course Meryl is great in this movie. She’s MERYL STREEP. I do give a slow clap to Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald who plays her ex-husband’s new wife. McDonald’s slow-burn performance was pretty fantastic. There are few actresses out there that can go toe to toe with Meryl Streep and come out on top.
Can I Take the Kids? I don’t picture small kids getting into this movie, but teen daughters might enjoy seeing this with their moms. People who like rock nostalgia should like this movie, too. Did I mention Rick Springfield (!) is in this movie?
Verdict: I recommend it, but maybe for Netflix. Only fork over cash to see it at the theater if you are like me and will watch anything with Meryl Streep.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures