I know I've said this before, but, is there anything Meryl Streep can't do? She is my age, and is still challenging herself. I love this woman! She is an inspiration. I read that Neil Young taught her to play guitar for this movie, and his name was first on the special credit list. She made playing look easy! Sometimes her voice sounded pure, and at other times raw. I think her voice was stronger in Mama Mia. But she was great in this movie of an aged rock star who left Indiana for Los Angeles; abandoned her husband, played by the so good Kevin Kline, and their three children to pursue her dream of becoming that rock star. "I'm a musician. That's what I am," Ricki declared at her son's wedding to the audience as part of her toast.
This movie touched me in several ways. Ricki declares to the bar audience where her band plays regularly (in a weak moment) that men can follow their dream, screw anybody they want, leave their children, do drugs, and they still sell hit songs. If a woman does that, she's a monster. I agree! There is a double standard. Do I agree that women should abandon their families? No. But this movie also made a good point. What does a woman do? Ricki's husband married Maureen, played by the beautiful and ever understated, Audra McDonald. I loved her in Private Practice. I would also like to see her play a gutsier role sometime. She is so talented. The other thing I was impressed with is that Meryl doesn't seem to get "work" done on herself. Her face showed the wrinkles of a woman in her middle-sixties, and so did her legs. Her legs were big and I noticed what looked like a vericose vein on the shin of one of them. She wore a knee-length dress bought at Goodwill for the wedding. I loved that!
My favorite character of this movie was the bartender. I think he was secretly in love with Ricki, very young, and had a wonderfully infectious personality. The soundtrack is really good and fun. I rocked in my seat much of the movie. The story is touching, disturbing, raw, and provides redemption. It made me feel like no matter what mistakes I made as a mother, my son will still love me. Ricki's children held no punches when they got their chance, but in the end all may not have been forgiven, but the path was certainly laid for forgiveness to grow.
I loved the chemistry between Ricki and her boyfriend, Greg, played by the still gorgeous Rick Springfield. What a face! I don't remember seeing him in a lot of roles, but he was good in this. I also loved watching Meryl's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer, act with her mother. Their chemistry was fabulous. I bet they worked out of lot of crap in this movie too. I also loved that the suicidal (after her husband of less than a year dumped her for another woman) Julie looked like crap for much of the first part of the movie! I just loved that! It was so real.
I enjoyed this movie very much. I left the theater smiling. I encourage you to go see it...for so many reasons. I admit the flow of the entire story wasn't as clean as I've seen, but I didn't care. I liked it, and I think you will two.