ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – R – Ricki and the Flash (2015) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Diablo Cody (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Sebastian Stan, Nick Westrate, Ricky Springfield, Audra McDonald

Plot: A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family.


Tagline – Get Ready to Rock. Get Ready to Love. Get Ready for Ricki.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dysfunctional Family 101

Story: Ricki and the Flash starts when paycheck to paycheck singer Ricki (Streep) gets called back home by her ex-husband Pete (Kline) to help support the daughter Julie (Gummer) who is going through a messy divorce, even though Ricki hasn’t been part of their lives for years.

As Ricki tries to reconnect with her own family, she learns that she will have plenty to regret from her life choice, but knows that her mistakes could have caused the damage to Julie’s life.

Thoughts on Ricki and the Flash

Characters – Ricki has been a free spirit her whole life, this has seen her leaving her kids for her husband to raise, as she follows her dreams in music, she performers as often as she can, while also needing to work in a supermarket. When her daughter is going through her own struggles, Ricki must face her past and realize the mistakes she has made and learn that she can always try to help however far she is. Pete is the ex-husband that remarried and raised their children, he calls in hope of getting Ricki to help their daughter, he just wants the family together for once, hoping Ricki could start attending certain family events. Julie is the daughter that has gone through a messy divorce which sees her needing her mother for the first time in years, this is an important moment in her life, one she needs to go well, to restart it all over again.

PerformancesMeryl Streep is great to watch in a role you wouldn’t instantly put her in, while Kevin Kline is great to see in his supporting role, it is Mamie Gummer that makes the biggest impact on this film, showing she could easily compete against her own mother on the screen.

StoryThe story here follows a mother that gave up her family to follow her dreams, where she was only ever just a performer, never a big star and now she needs to come back into her adult children’s lives before it is too late and they will turn on her. This does show how we get the spin on the usual, we often see the father wanting to reconnect with his family, but here we spin in this right around that the mother needs to do this. We can focus on the family relationships and it would have been nice to learn more about Ricki’s kids as they only really get the mentions of being married, about to get married and being gay, there just is no depth to these characters.

ComedyThe comedy in this film doesn’t always work as much as it could, with everything feeling too serious for the jokes to work.

SettingsThe film does show the different lives Ricki could live, from her LA home to her family across the country.


Scene of the Movie – The wedding.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not learning enough about the kids.

Final Thoughts This is a simple by the book comedy that shows how life can always catch up on you if things don’t go the way they could.

Overall: Simple Comedy.

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