Friday, August 28, 2015
Rikki and The Flash
Don't expect to see Meryl Steep winning any awards anytime soon for this lightweight family drama. The film should have been called "Rikki and her Dysfunctional Family", as it's certainly not about her band. And it's barely about her family.
The thin bare plot is about a mother who abandoned her family years ago to pursue her musical dreams. After one album that went nowhere, Rikki is barely surviving a minimum wage job during the day and playing covers in a seedy bar at nights. One gimmick is that Rick Springfield is her guitarist and boyfriend. They are a mismatched pair and this would be a complete embarrassment for Ms. Streep except for the fact she can carry a tune and manages to get by on "American Girl" and "My Love Won't Let You Down".
The other gimmick is to have her real life daughter, Mamie Gummer, play her troubled daughter in the film. This certainly lends credibility to the character's relationship. The family plot that drives the story, though, is so lightweight it's laughable (at least something is funny because the film isn't). The characters are stereotypes and cover all backgrounds. A gay son, check. An interracial couple, check. An understanding ex husband, check. There is no character development or back story for any of the characters other than Rikki herself. Audra McDonald and Kevin Kline also co-star but are restrained by the weak writing.
I can't resist the pun. "Rikki and The Flash" is a flash in the pan. If you love Rick Springfield or worship Ms. Streep, see it quick before it's gone.