Ricki and the Flash

Director: Jonathan Demme
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 1.0

Aging rocker Ricki (Meryl Streep) - who abandoned her husband (Kevin Kline) and kids to pursue her musical dreams - returns home to Indiana to console her grieving, recently-divorced daughter (Mamie Gummer) and learn that her one son is getting married. It's one of those "going home to heal old wounds" movies, but on a screenwriting level it's hardly Diablo Cody's best work - those 'breakdowns' by Ricki during her shows are cringe-worthy, and a lot of the 'wittiness' apparent in some of her other scripts is weak here - and the final scene at the wedding is not adequate compensation for decades of being absent: "Sorry about hurting all of you and being selfish, so here's a number by The Boss!" I think what makes it especially egregious is Streep cast in the lead role: I'm sorry, but with a resume like hers, she's too regal and polished to play a Joan Jett-type at this point in time (they might as well have gotten Helen Mirren to do it). Here's a scenario that might have led to something fruitful: real-life Streep and real-life daughter Gummer quit acting and start their own band while Demme - who loves making documentaries about musicians - records them as they do a nationwide tour ... now that would make sense.