For my whole life I’ve heard the patronising words ‘you’re too young for it’, or ‘you should watch that when you’re older’. This doesn’t sit well with me, partly because it’s patronising (unsurprisingly), and also because if something is good, then it’s good, and it shouldn’t really matter who it’s presented to. Yes, some people will understand certain things better if they’ve experienced similar circumstances to what they’re watching, or if you can relate to the characters more, but in general, anyone should be able to appreciate something good.
Having said that, if there was ever film that I was too young for, it’s this. Ricki and the Flash is the story of Linda (stage name Ricki Rendazzo), a musician who had one album and never quite made it, and who’s been the leader of a house band (The Flash) in a small, local bar for more than a decade. She receives a call from her ex husband to let her know that her daughter’s husband has left her, and she travels across the country to help console her the daughter she hasn’t seen for years.
From here, we find out things about her life, and obviously what made her choose the life she did, and the effect it’s had on the rest of her family. Clearly, this is a premise that would play to people who have more life experience, and people who can relate to having made these tough life choices, and even though some people might say ‘you’re too young, you won’t get it’, I have to say, I absolutely loved this film.
The story is simple and overall quite predictable, but there are enough little twists on the formula to keep the viewer interested. The performances are excellent across the board. It pretty much goes without saying that Meryl Streep is brilliant, but here she’s really created a well-rounded character right down to the mannerisms most actors don’t think to include. The real stand out is Mamie Gummer, who not only looks like she could easily be Streep’s daughter, but acts like it too.
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