Review: Ricki and the Flash

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Who comes from a dysfunctional family? Who knows of a dysfunctional family? Who wants to be involved with a dysfunctional family?  You know, the types of families that are broken up when the kids are young and mom abandons the family in order to become a Rock star and never makes it.   Dad is left holding the bag, gets remarried, the kids are all screwed up (let’s add in some gay and divorce drama) and whenever they get together all they do is fight, bicker, complain, insult each other whether in private or in public.  Still don’t understand? OK so let’s say you’re taking your family out to a nice restaurant for some family time, peace and quiet with music in the background, upscale not super expensive but you’ve been planning on this for a while and you go out for what you would consider is a lovely evening. The next thing you know the restaurant seats a dysfunctional family next to you, screaming, yelling, cursing and fighting which ruins your meal.  Do you know how you cringe when you watch this? That’s the way I felt. Now do you understand what I’m talking about? Good!

So if you like all of this drama and you can’t get enough of it from your own family or your friends dysfunctional families then by all means go be tortured and watch this movie and see if you can raise your irritation expectations to a higher level.  After all it’s all about the drama isn’t it?  The writer, Diablo Cody (Juno) apparently likes lots of drama.  She threw everything into this story plus the kitchen sink of dysfunctionality.  I guarantee I’ll never go to her home for the holidays.  The story was as entertaining as watching paint dry.

Ricki and the Flash has some fabulous actors in the worst roles imaginable.  Meryl Streep (Into the Woods, The Devil wears Prada) plays the lead and has her real life daughter, Mamie Gummer (Side Effects, Lifeguard), playing her movie daughter. They don’t have enough dysfunctionality at home?  Kevin Kline (Wild Wild West, A Fish Called Wanda) plays the husband who tries to keep the family unit from killing each other and they throw in Rick Springfield (Boogie Nights, True Detective), a real life rock and roll musician who’s time had come and gone (did you know he used to be on the soap opera General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake for all you soap buffs out there) as the music cohort of Ricky.  The Hollywood press is a buzz that Meryl Streep learned how to play the guitar and sang the rock and roll songs of the 80s. Who cares! I wouldn’t pay to see her, she’s mediocre at best.

This movie has been getting a lot of hype but it really needs to be in the five dollar bins at Walmart. Do not spend your hard earned money and see this film. Wait for it to come out for free on your cable box. Because at the end of the day, it will be Ricki and the Flash in the Pan.  And even with Rick Springfield playing all the old music it’s amazing he didn’t play any of his own hits.

I don’t know about you but I go to movies to be entertained or to see something that wows me on that big screen. There is nothing in this movie that deserves to be on a screen larger than your home TV.

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