Does 'Ricki and the Flash' Rock as Hard as Star Meryl Streep?

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Meryl Streep continues to show she really can do it all in “Ricki and the Flash.” Playing a guitar heroine who follows her dreams of becoming a rock star, she was every bit believable for the lead Ricki Rendazzo, critics say.

As for the rest of the film, given a 69 percent rating by Rotten Tomatoes, some reviews found the emotional roller coaster that the characters go on an excellent accompaniment to Streep’s performance – while others say without her, Diablo Cody’s screenplay falls flat.

Also starring Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, Rick Springfield, Sebastian Stan, Nick Westrate, Kevin Kline and Audra McDonald, the movie prompted some disagreement over whether the characters connected on camera.

“Streep is just undefeatable no matter what role you throw at her and in this, her third musical feature, she again proves she is as talented in the singing department as she is acting” — Pete Hammond, Deadline

PHOTOS: “Ricki and the Flash” Premiere Lights Up New York

Other reviewers are praising the award-winning actress’ performance as well. But to say they would have “loved” it overall, had it not been for Streep, seems to be an overstatement.

“‘Ricki and the Flash’ struggles a bit with flow, especially as the first half of the film works out a rhythm before things drastically changing course. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself in a chunk of musical moments with barely any dialogued scenes spaced in between them. Looking at this film from a musical standpoint, that’s what you would call poor planning. Again, this is not Streep’s fault” —Nick Romano, CinemaBlend.com

“(E)ven with its well-observed moments, the movie’s nonmusical interactions, whether reaching for laughs or poignancy, too often feel flat and forced.” — Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

And kudos went to Gummer, who plays Streep’s daughter, with critics find that the  acting chops are in the family DNA.

“Most of the focus is on her daughter, and they eventually come to a peace more out of inertia than enlightenment. Both are smart enough to recognize their similarities. We expect Streep to be marvelous, but her supporting cast, including bandmate/boyfriend Greg (80s heartthrob Rick Springfield) all match her intensity. For Gummer, this launches her to the A-list where she belongs.” —Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

“Ricki and the Flash” opens Friday. Watch the trailer below:

 

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