It probably has been out for ages in The States and GB, but we of The Wetlands have been graced with the latest Meryl Streep film only recently, and I have been one of the first people to see it in my area, along with a cinema full of women of a certain (my!!!) age.
Meryl Streep is in a league of her own. I have been following her career since it started, and have admired her as long. Some other actor (in Modern Family, sorry, his name has vanished from my mind - another thing with women of a certain age...) would have said that no, it wasn't weird that she portraid an aging rock-star, as she would be able to play Batman convincingly.
Did she convince me? Yes, she did. (Not everyone else in the film did, but more about that later)
Wrinkles and all, rats-nest hair, eyes made up so heavily that they almost disappeared, covered in chains, she was an aging rock chick down to her high-heeled booties.
Ever since Postcards from the Edge and Mamma Mia we've known that she can sing, and she sang with easy confidence as Ricki and handled that guitar well enough.
Her daughter Mamie Gummer, who plays her daughter (and who has inherited her intensity) was just as convincing in her agony for being left by her husband for a greener fresher pair of legs. Her face was haunting, raw, perfectly casted. One of the best scenes is the one where Ricki/Linda and her ex-husband Pete confront this errant husband and new lover in a restaurant. Here Diablo Cody's lines really have that humorous bite which she is famous for. Gummer watches though the window and her expression is pure pain.
Pete, being portrayed by Kevin Kline, is where I was a tad disappointed.
If you remember, Kline and Streep managed to keep millions on the edge of their seats in Sophie's Choice with their tragic love story. The chemistry there made my heart beat in time with theirs.
In Ricki and the Flash, that chemistry was...non-existant. Kline as Pete was a colorless, stiff man, even when stoned. I could for the life of me not imagine them ever having been married, let alone that they had the sex to make three kids.
Now Rick Springfield, on the other hand, who plays Greg, Ricki's lead guitarist-cum-love-interest, managed to get his love for Ricki across with a few simple smoldering looks. One of my favorite scenes, only a couple of seconds long, is when Ricki and Greg are in bed together with his guitar.
Did Jonathan Demme do a good job?
Hmmmm, yes, on the whole he did. The wedding ending the story is (to Wetlander eyes) ridiculously over-directed, but that has more to do with our Wetlander eyes than with Mr Demme. (To us Dutchies the entire 'dance with the best men/maids of honor' is so contrived. But never mind that. I respect that your weddings are more of a production than ours)
Did Diablo Cody? Yes, on the whole she did.
Should you see this movie? Absolutely. You should always grasp the chance to see Streep at work with both hands. And now there's a talented daughter to boot.