Top critical review
"A" for effort, terrible plot
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2016
Well, Meryl Streep, as Ricki, is a truly gifted actor and did her part in this movie as usual. My wife liked the entire movie. A cast of over sixty supporting actors including Kevin Kline, Rick Springfield and Audra McDonald helped move the plot along. But honestly, the script was formulaic and entirely predictable which was a surprise since the writer, Diablo Cody, wrote "Juno". Meryl plays a musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom, returns home and tries to make things right with her family. Ricki returns home but the reconciliation fails. Ashamed, Ricki returns to her band in California angry and bitter, insulting her guitarist who is in love with her. He makes her realize he cares and they make love. Ricki receives an invitation to the son's wedding as an olive branch from the family, but Ricki can't afford to go. Her boyfriend sells his best guitar to pay for the tickets. The last scenes, spoiler alert, is played out a little like the end of "Dirty Dancing". Streep learn to play the guitar for the movie (lessons from Neil Young) and sings, no surprise remembering her in "Mama Mia" and "Into the Woods". Watching Streep sing covers for several rock & roll numbers is actually the centerpiece of the movie. Rotten Tomato gave the movie a score of 64%, surprising since "Mama Mia" only got a score of 54%. Does that me it was better than "Mama Mia"? Hardly! So, if you and your wife are looking for a movie tonight consider this but don't mention it as a suggestion. Meryl Streep recorded 12 cover songs and spent at least 6 months working on her guitar playing skills. So if you must watch concentrate on Streep performance in front of a live audience with no playback being used to enhance her vocals. Got to give her an "A" for effort.