Ricki And The Flash [2015] ★★½

ricki-and-the-flashHere’s the thing about Meryl Streep: I can watch her in almost anything. And now at 66, she’s still constantly looking for new, challenging roles. “Ricki and the Flash” won’t win her a 4th Oscar, but she’s completely convincing and mesmerizing as an 80’s-style rock-and-roller who performs cover versions of familiar hits with her longtime band at a neighborhood bar. Streep will cast a spell as soon as you hear her sing Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. A sudden phone call from her ex-husband (Kevin Kline) forces her to go back home, where her grown daughter (played by Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer) tried to commit suicide when her husband left her. We learn that Streep walked out on her family many years ago and has been distant ever since. “Ricki and the Flash” isn’t deep or anything. The story is familiar and the ending is equally predictable. But I can tell you that it was a pleasure to watch an actress like  Meryl Streep tackle a role unlike any she’s played before. She disappears into the part and is thoroughly believable. I think that’s reason enough to check out the film. That and the colorful soundtrack that features classic songs like “Keep Playin’ that Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Drift Away,” “Wooly Bully,” “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” and other favorites.

Rating: 2.5/4

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