Ricki and the Flash

WRITTEN BY: Diablo Cody
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Demme
STARRING: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield
RATING: 2 stars

Ricki (Meryl Streep) is a musician who gave up her marriage and children to pursue a dream of becoming a rock star. Years later, she remains mostly estranged from her adult children until her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) calls to say their daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) is getting a divorce and desperately needs her mother. With the encouragement of her bandmate/boyfriend Greg (Rick Springfield), Ricki decides to try to salvage her relationship with her three children.

A lot of the scenes in this film felt like cliched dysfunctional family moments strung together in a boring and pointless plot. That is disappointing considering screenwriter Diablo Cody has preciously written well thought out films like Juno. The most poignant moment is when Greg tells Ricki it does not matter if children love their parents, it only matters that parents love their children. It is not the most exciting moral to a story but it seems to be the main point of this sappy tale. The music is probably the strongest aspect of the film and ranges from 1980s rock to modern pop. Streep is good as a rock musician, but unfortunately, I could not believe her romance with Kline or Springfield, although both leading men were solid on their own. Gummer, who is Streep's real life daughter, provides laughs as well as propelling the drama, and this film's failings should not stop her star from continuing to rise. Ricki and the Flash is harmless and well meaning, but surprisingly bland.