Ricki & the Flash: Streep Rocks

Ricki and the Flash Review

4 mins

Jonathan Demme's Ricki & the Flash stars Meryl Streep as aging rocker trying to do right by her kids.

Streep is wonderful as the hair braided & tattooed grungy Ricki.

Ricki Rendazzo (Streep), is a middle aged rocker & mum of three who left her family to forge a new career as a rock star, but it hasn’t quite work out as she had hoped. Instead of fame Ricki, works at the local supermarket during the day and sings with her band at night, to avoid bankruptcy.

Ricki and the Flash are the regular fixture at a small town bar where they entertain the locals with vintage rock anthems mixed with “new stuff”, such as Lady Gaga to passify the kids. Lead guitar of The Flash is Greg, played by 80s heart throb Rick Springfield, who has a thing for Ricki. Ricki however, is apprehensive about commitment.

She receives a phone call from her ex husband, Pete (Kline) a successful uptight businessman, telling her that their daughter's (Gummer) marriage has broken up, and that Ricki should visit Indianapolis to help nurse her through the grief.

Ricki’s family have all grown up and moved on since she left for California in the 80's, and although she isn’t expecting open arms, she is shocked by the initial hostility from Julie and her brothers Josh and Adam.

Ricki & The Flash Review

Streep is wonderful as the hair braided & tattooed grungy Ricki. She can’t understand why anyone would be interested in her. All she has is her music and her talent to entertain. The resentment she feels from her kids who feel abandoned, are casually dismissed with jokes but ultimately play on her mind.

Demme best known for The Silence of the Lambs & his Talking Heads documentary, Stop making Sense

From first impressions this “coming home/reconciliation“ movie, adds nothing to the genre. It has all the elements for this kind of picture including, pregnant pauses, snide remarks and a restaurant family blow-up scene. Demme however, has given the characters time to develop, so that you can acclimate to Ricki’s predicament and emotional turmoil she has caused to her family.

Mamie Gummer is especially good as the smitten daughter Julie. The chemistry between real life mother and daughter (Streep & Gummer) allowing for genuinely tender scenes to develop and progress, but it never wallows in misery. Kline doesn’t have much to do but play the steadfast and proud dad doing right by his daughter. 

Demme best known for The Silence of the Lambs & his Talking Heads documentary, Stop Making Sense, clearly loves shooting rock bands. His respect of the medium ensures that complete songs are performed, which makes up a large part of the pictures running time. Meryl Streep is remarkable singing & playing her guitar. Clearly she revels in  the experience.

The storyline intermixed with lengthy concert footage of Ricki and her band, ensure that this movie is both hugely enjoyable and never becomes too tedious or heavy.

Ricki and the Flash rocks.

Ricki and the Flash (2015) directed by Jonathan Demme

Starring Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer

101 Minutes

Last updated on: 24 Jan 2017 10:36 AM

Meryl Streep Rick Stringfield Rock Band Kevin Kline Mamie Gummer Tom Petty