At First Glance: “Ricki and the Flash”

Some films, at first, seem hard to imagine, even though you know who all is involved in them. Then, at long last, comes a trailer, which tells you so much more (as it should) than a mere publicity still does. If all goes well, you’ll go from skeptical to overly excited in less than three minutes.

The upcoming Tristar Pictures film “Ricki and the Flash”, has done all that and a little bit more. I’m convinced that this film will have just the right amount of heart and soul so lacking in most films of this type.

This comedy drama stars Meryl Streep (upcoming “Suffragette”, “Into the Woods”), Mamie Gummer (upcoming “The End of the Tour”, “The Good Wife”), Kevin Kline (“My Old Lady”, “Last Vegas”), Sebastian Stan (upcoming films “The Bronze”, “The Martian”), Rick Springfield (“Drop Dead Diva”, “Hot in Cleveland”), Audra McDonald (“The Sound of Music Live!”, “The Good Wife”), and Ben Platt (upcoming “Pitch Perfect 2”, “Pitch Perfect”).

The film is directed by Jonathan Demme (“The Killing (US TV series)”, “A Master Builder”) and written by Diablo Cody (“Paradise”, “Young Adult”).

The film is expected to hit theaters on Aug. 7, 2015.

So, if you’re like me, when you stumble upon a unique screenwriter and absolutely love their work (mostly) then you’ll want to occasionally check in and see what they’re working on. I’ve done that, I honestly don’t know how many times over the last few months, for Cody and have known of this film for some time. Then, as you’ll see in a moment, there was so much more to get excited about. It’s interesting too, especially since I wasn’t sure what I’d write about today, that I stumbled upon this by accident. Of late, I find myself not seeming to be tuned into all the different avenues I usually walk down when looking for trailers or videos in general, or even news. I feel completely out of the loop. Thankfully, my distractedness is actually paying off in a big way!

This film looks like it’s going to have the right blend of music, comedy, and drama, not to mention the human emotion and family dynamics that will come out of the drama! It’s a tough blend to get right, and here it already looks like it’ll work out perfectly. If I can find myself laughing, smiling, and just enjoying everything going on, then I’m pretty certain I’ll like the film itself. It’s at least a good start.

Then, of course, there’s the cast. This cast is made up of some great actors, a few of them (Gummer and Stan) still slowly building up their resumes with such dynamic roles, many enjoyable, that this alone, is worth getting excited about. Because of the premise, the way each of the actors works off each other, isn’t going to be an easy thing to judge. Fortunately, this trailer seems to be showing that the many different encounters are going to be very effective when it comes to moving you as an audience member, and ultimately getting you to like the film.
   
The great thing, as this is really all about her character, is that Streep has once again transformed herself into another unique (seriously couldn’t think of another word) person. All the way down to the specific nature of the vocals she uses for the music is absolutely in line, and perfect, with her character. I’m actually excited to hear the rest of the songs she sings, even if they’re covers. I’d feel wrong about not mentioning the fact that this film also sees the first time that Streep has acted alongside her oldest daughter, Gummer. In this case, I think it’s going to really help bring an even better sense of realism and something to relate to.

Again, just because, I’m incredibly excited that this is written by Cody. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a good and original story from her.

Lastly, and this could actually go either way, I guess so too could Cody’s involvement, is Demme. He’s well known for only one film, but has also done some others. The last one, sadly, that I’ve seen was “Rachel Getting Married”, which I pretty much liked. It’s because of this that I have some high hopes, which don’t seem too high.

Each year there’s already a certain amount of films that I want to see, some more than others. I can’t figure how I have enough time to get excited about them, but I do. Then, like now, there’s the ones that kind of sneak in and demand attention, which may or may not be available to give. I guess it’s one way that I can be kept on my toes. Now all I need is for the next few months to go by and August to arrive quickly. Is there some way it can speed by faster?

Just because, here’s another look at Streep as Ricki, looking amazing and strumming away on her guitar!

 

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