The early trailer for director Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash gave one the impression that Meryl Streep was borrowing a film idea from Tom Cruise and doing Rock of Ages-like gig.
While there are rock ‘n roll elements, Ricki and the Flash is more of a tale of failed family relationships, with Streep’s real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer, up-staging mom at every turn.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has selected Nov. 24 as the street date for DVD and Blu-ray SKUs. The ARR works out to 109 days and ticket sales for the film’s August theatrical run were a lackluster $26.8 million.
Streep is certainly believable as Ricki, the aging and failed rocker, whose career choices over family never panned out, but it is Gummer as her daughter Julie who delivers the stronger of the two performances.
She is costumed and made to look “plain Jane” — a polar opposite to her mother’s flashy and provocative style — and in doing so projects heartbreak at every turn. She’s angry with her mother (a lifetime of reasons) and devastated over being dumped by her husband.
A nice ensemble cast — that includes Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald and Rick Springfield — does their best to perk up this downer of a film. The musical numbers are solid, but in the end Ricki and the Flash needs more flash and less soap.
Bonus features for the DVD and Blu-ray editions include the making-of featurette titled “Getting Ready for Ricki: The Making of Ricki and the Flash.” Exclusive to the Blu-ray are deleted scenes, a photo gallery and the featurette titled “Rediscovering Rick Springfield.”