RICKI AND THE FLASH:  Meryl Streep is at it again, this time as an aging rocker who deserted her family to pursue her dream of becoming a star and ended up playing in “dives” with her band.  Hearing from her husband, Pete (Kevin Kline), about family problems, she returns home to daughter Julie (Meryl's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer) and her two grown sons in a bid for redemption for past mistakes.   Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Diablo Cody (both Oscar winners) you'd think this film had a lot going for it.   Well, the performances are first rate including those by Rick Springfield as Ricki’s boyfriend and bandmate and the wonderful Audra MacDonald as Pete’s now wife.  But the story is rather formulistic even though it’s been reversed (The woman rather than the man leaves the family and the boyfriend is the one who wants more in the relationship).  Granted it is a kick to see Meryl singing and rock and rolling, but ultimately, it turns out to be the same old song…the dysfunctional family trying to cope.  So, all in all, It’s a nice enjoyable film but nothing special.  Been there, done that.  But, I hasten to add that Meryl and the boys doing some timeless Rock and Roll covers will have you smiling from ear to ear.

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