Meryl Streep is no stranger to singing on the silver screen, whether its the cheesy pop of an ABBA classic or a magical Disney song but can she really pull of being a rock star? Of course she can, its Meryl Streep! The real question was always going to be did the rest of the film match the quality of her performance?
As I have already touched on Meryl Streep was fantastic here, just as she is in everything else she stars in. Her voice actually really suited the songs from the rock genre and this combined with her performance meant that I really bought her as front woman Ricki Rendazzo. I enjoyed the music that featured in the film and I was actually surprised at just how much was included, this was a pleasant surprise though. I would have enjoyed a few more well known songs though as I could have got into things a bit more then but even at that Steep and co managed fine without the classics. Alongside the music came a lot of humour. This element ran throughout the film however, it’s never too in your face and it’s not slapstick but instead it’s more realistic and possibly a more fitting collaboration with the drama side of the film. The laughs come out of awkward situations, tensions between family members and some well written dialogue. It is consistent enough through the film but I would have welcomed more of this. The film also stars Kevin Kline, this guy does comedy well and he gets to flex his funny bones slightly here but more could have been done with his character in order to get his full potential. Nonetheless, the film has laughs and it will bring a smile to your face on many occasions.
The main element in the movie though is its drama. This part of the film is done well, the film is able to shift tone easily when it intends to and you will feel a variety of emotions for several different characters as the film proceeds. However this seems to only go so far, about half way through the film the drama we’ve been following does take a back seat and seems to somehow sort itself out. Ricki and the Flash maybe never goes deep enough but the film is always enjoyable so maybe didn’t want to get bogged down in the nitty and gritty of the drama element. Like the comedy I feel there was more to give with this side of things. Either the comedy or the drama needed to be pushed further in order to give the film a solid direction to follow with support from the other. Instead what we get are two elements that are good and enjoyable but fail to be anything especially memorable and always leave the viewer wanting more. The viewer wants more because what they have seen is good there just isn’t enough of it. Saying that Ricki and the Flash is constantly engaging and I never once began to lose interest or become bored, quite a feat for a film in a genre such as this so for that it should be commended.
Ricki and the Flash is consistently good across the board apart from Streep’s performance which surpasses this. The musical side of things is great a few more sing along tunes wouldn’t have gone a miss though. Out of the good comedy and good drama one of them needed to take the driving seat but Ricki and the Flash still manages to be a really pleasurable watch just not all that memorable.
Rating – 7/10