Ricki and the Flash comes to Sky Movies premier this week. The film is billed as a comedy drama and there are certainly elements of both genres throughout the movie.
Ricki is that rare thing, the woman who has turned her back on her children to pursue her own dreams. Later, once her dreams have never come to financial success and she has filed for bankruptcy, one of her grown-up children needs her support after her own marriage has failed.
The film explores issues such as is the parent the steady one who raises the child or the fun one who has given birth…is financial success ever compensation for being work-driven…is it possible to parent an adult that you have never parented as a child…is it okay to be chasing your own freedom but a teeny bit racist and homophobic, and even what is real love and why do we fear it?
Throughout it all it is the mesmerizing performances of the actors on screen – not just Meryl Streep – which knits the disjointed patchwork together. As one says, “It is our job to love our children. not their job to love us.”
The film at least avoids the cliche of the Hollywood ending where the trope would have been the discovery of Ricky’s talent finally being rewarded.
The film allows the audience to play spot the famous musician and Meryl Streep is really getting in to these singing roles now, it seems. Her real singing performances sound like someone with just not enough talent to make it big and her guitar playing looks a bit suspect at times but overall you’ll believe in this rock chick and the family she left behind.
The film is dedicated to one of the real musicians involved in the film, coincidentally called Rick. Look him up and watch his style in the film.