Infallible Meryl Streep as “Ricki Randazzo”, a pathetic anachronism, a “flash back” to the 80’s, is cringingly embarrassing as a waning rock- and- roll maven in her 60’s; a hairstyle and wardrobe reminiscent of a biker babe, the American flag tattooed on her back; she returns penniless to Indianapolis from a remote California town, when her daughter “Julie” (Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real-time daughter) is dumped by her husband. Julie, bereft of one compelling attribute, is a “Les Mis” sniveling hag; confounding, is how her husband tolerated her as long as he did.
Kevin Kline as “Pete” , Ricki’s ex-husband and Julie’s father is as bewildered by the role as he is with his wacky ex-wife and suicidal daughter.
Sophomorically written (Diablo Cody) and directed (Jonathan Demme) “Ricki and the Flash” is a sensational vehicle for Streep’s singing and guitar-playing acuity; audiences would have accepted this pandering twenty years ago; today it is errant, enervating, excruciating.
ONE & 1/2 STAR!