Ricki and the Flash Review: Watch Meryl Streep Rock! #RickiJunket #RickiAndTheFlash

ricki and the flash movie poster

It’s no secret that I spent last weekend in New York for a Ricki and the Flash press junket. I interviewed Meryl Streep, got a selfie with Rick Springfield, reflected on mother-daughter relationships and had a fun night out with other bloggers!

But all of that only makes sense together because of the movie, so it’s time to share my Ricki and the Flash review!

About Ricki and the Flash

Meryl Streep takes on a whole new gig – a hard-rocking singer/guitarist – for Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody in Ricki and the Flash.

In an original film loaded with live musical performances, Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family. 

Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer; Rick Springfield, portraying a Flash member in love with Ricki; Kevin Kline as Ricki’s ex-husband; and Audra McDonald as Kline’s new wife. 

The most obvious question people have been asking me is, how is the music in Ricki and the Flash?

Let me tell you, the music is amazing, and Meryl Streep rocks in her role as Ricki!

Even if you’ve seen her sing in other movies (A Prairie Home Companion, Mama Mia or Into the Woods) you’ve never seen her perform like she does here!

meryl streep rock star ricki and the flash

I’m not an actor, but I can’t imagine that the role of Ricki, an aging lead singer of a bar-performing cover band, is an easy one to play. Yet this movie did nothing but convince me that Meryl Streep can do anything.

cam meryl streep modern family

Streep plays Ricki perfectly. The funky braids and black eye makeup and crazy jewelry easily scream “rock star”, but it’s her gravelly voice, her penchant for sleep, her unsteadiness in her heels, that really make the performance.

meryl streep rick springfield ricki and the flash

And don’t even get me started on the true, live performances within the movie! Meryl Streep and Rick Springfield sing perfectly together. At times they make beautiful harmonies, but they also simply rock out like they were born to be on stage together!

The Ricki and the Flash soundtrack is killer. Including classic rock and roll songs like Tom Petty’s American Girl and popular modern hits like Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, there’s something for everyone!

All the songs performed in Ricki and the Flash:

  1. American Girl
  2. Keep Playing that Rock & Roll
  3. Wooly Bully
  4. Drift Away
  5. My Love Will Not Let You Down
  6. Cold One
  7. Let’s Work Together
  8. I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  9. Bad Romance
  10. Get The Party Started
  11. Walk On
  12. Here I am
  13. For the Turnstiles
  14. Paint it Black

For all the talk of performances in the movie, a small role is my favorite. Daniel the bartender is played by Ben Platt in Ricki and the Flash, and he’s absolutely charming!

ben platt ricki and the flash daniel bartender

Daniel is Ricki’s biggest fan, confidant and all-around cheerleader. He plays his part with such enthusiasm, it’s impossible to not like him!

All in all, Ricki and the Flash is about love and family, tied together with a soundtrack that tells the story perfectly!

Ricki and the Flash is in theaters everywhere NOW. Get your tickets today!

Be sure to take a look at my first post inspired by the plot of Ricki and the Flash: Moms: 5 Ways to Keep Improving Your Relationship with Your Daughter

Disclosure: Sony Pictures Entertainment flew me to New York to participate in this press junket and other events related to the promotion of Ricki and the Flash.

Interviewing Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield and Mamie Gummer for RICKI AND THE FLASH

mom blogger press conference trip

Last weekend I had an amazing time joining a few other bloggers at the Ricki and the Flash press junket. The first night I was treated to a makeover and dinner out at a fabulous  New York City restaurant.

The following day I woke up, threw on a dress and got ready to meet Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield and Mamie Gummer at the Ricki and the Flash press conference.

mom blogger press conference

I didn’t know that there was a plan to have a few minutes with Rick Springfield before the conference started, which included time for pictures!

minnesota mom blogger press conference

 

After we all had exhausted our opportunity to take a picture with him, Rick Springfield, glanced around, and said, Well, we still have a few minutes.

I think my head almost exploded when he walked over to the edge of the platform in the room, picked up one of the prop guitars and started playing!

I feel extra-lucky that I was able to capture a short video of our private moment with Rick Springfield:

After the short performance and a few minutes of downtime, Rick Springfield returned with both Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer to talk all about Ricki and the Flash.

About Ricki and the Flash:

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep), a one-time wife and mother of three who left her family behind to follow her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

Now, the singer and guitarist must face the music when she returns home to Indiana to reconnect with ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline), troubled daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) and engaged son Josh (Sebastian Stan).

Filled with regret, Ricki hopes to find redemption for all of the bad choices that she made in the past.

Ricki and the Flash Press Conference

I think that the hardest part of becoming a mother is that you suddenly have to choose how much of your life is about you and how much is about your children.

In the movie Ricki made the choice that was best for her. Ms. Streep, was there ever a time that you were offered a professional opportunity that you really wanted to take but ultimately turned down because you felt that was the right choice for your family? 

ricki and the flash mom blogger press conference

Meryl Streep (MS): Well, I kind of got lost thinking about all those things in the middle of that question. The last thing you asked was the question, right? Sorry.

There was a time when I was cast in a movie called Ragtime. EL Doctorow, the novelist who wrote that just died. I found out I was pregnant and I had been married for about 20 minutes. So that’s the first time I gave up something for family. But it worked out well, because Henry…[looks to Mamie] he’s all right, right? Not as good as the second child! [laughs]

I loved the music in the movie and I loved seeing you perform, Meryl. I especially loved seeing you two perform together in the movie [Meryl Streep and Rick Springfield]. Did you have any say in the songs that you got to sing in the movie and how do you feel about the music you performed. 

ricki and the flash review press junket

Rick Springfield (RS): She’s great.

MS: Yeah, we had a little bit of say in the music we got to play. We were supposed to be a cover band. Cover bands in San Fernando Valley play a set of different songs from the great American rock & roll songbook. So we looked at that and we figured out What I could play that maybe would be too crazy hard and also what we loved. I remember hearing Wooly Bully on the way back from my nephew’s graduation and thinking, “I can play that!” [laughs]

RS: Yeah, there were some difficult songs, though. That Edgar Winter song had a lot of riffing in it. I think that was a great choice. When I first heard some of  the songs I was like, “really?” But once we played them, and they allowed us to arrange the songs, too. That was great, we all had a say in how the songs were arranged. It really worked with the band and through the whole story. They’re almost perfect songs, in the end.

MS: Rick had a lot to do with why it sounded good. I also enjoyed the band. It was a really, really tight band. Great veterans.

RS: That was important to the film. [Pointing to Gummer] She wasn’t there. [laughs]

MS: Mamie had never heard any of those songs before.

[To Rick Springfield] Would you consider doing a duet with Meryl on your next album? 

RS: Yes I would. Of course!

You’re a very different parent in real life than the woman you portrayed. How hard was it to play someone who probably did the opposite of what you do? 

mommy blogger press trip

MS: Not…well…that’s what acting it. It takes what we know and puts it into the life of someone else. It’s a great journey. You get to know how it is to walk in someone else’s shoes. to live that life. To be impaled by their appetites and needs.

For me it’s like therapy, it’s like understanding something about other people and about myself. I really love it and need it for that reason.

Mamie Gummer: The advice my mom…she…her…mother…she said to always defend who you’re playing. Not to speak for you, but the worst thing I think you can do is judge who you’re playing. That’s just counterproductive. This does happen. Women do leave home. They leave their families. I think that you have to understand why they felt that they had to do that.

MS: That’s true. What’s neat about this screenplay, in my opinion, is that there’s so many holes in it. There are so many mysteries and so many things you don’t understand. We don’t really know how much Ricki was in the lives of her children. For how long. How much she tried to be. Or when Maureen actually came into their lives. How early was she there? That’s the stuff that we as individual actors, we make up our own story.

I saw Kevin Kline in London, because he’s making Beauty and the Beast and I was making a movie about a bad opera singer. We got together and talked about this movie. I said, “Why do you think this marriage broke up?” He gave a long, incredible…bogus, in my opinion, story. But it’s not articulated in the movie.

You don’t know. They do investment banking in California. Nobody said you can’t move. Somebody has a need to try. To make her dream come true. Maybe you say, “Ok, let’s go”. Because you can do investment banking in LA. There’s a lot of mysteries in this in why that marriage didn’t work out.

They don’t seem as well suited as these two [gestures to Rick Springfield]. And she does seem happy in the life she has.

RS: The cool thing about it is that everybody has issues in the story. Even at the end when it seems like a happy ending, you know it’s all still going to go on after the movie starts. They’ll still have issues.

MS: Like life.

All in all, this press conference blew me away! To be in a room with such talented people who were so open to sharing their feelings and experiences is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Another once-in-a-lifetime moment came just minutes after the interviews ended and the talent from Ricki and the Flash walked out of the room.

Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield and Mamie Gummer’s name cards were still on the table, so a handful of bloggers decided to take a picture at the same table.

mom blogger press conference movie junket

When I sat down, I noticed Rick Springfield had left his cup. Of course I took a picture with it. I also had just a few seconds to decide if I should take it or not! Can you guess what I did?

ricki and the flash movie poster

About Ricki and the Flash:

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep), a one-time wife and mother of three who left her family behind to follow her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

Now, the singer and guitarist must face the music when she returns home to Indiana to reconnect with ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline), troubled daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) and engaged son Josh (Sebastian Stan).

Filled with regret, Ricki hopes to find redemption for all of the bad choices that she made in the past.

Ricki and the Flash opens in theaters everywhere on August 7th, 2015. Get your tickets today!

Be sure to take a look at my first post inspired by the plot of Ricki and the Flash: Moms: 5 Ways to Keep Improving Your Relationship with Your Daughter

Disclosure: Sony Pictures Entertainment flew me to New York to participate in this press junket and other events related to the promotion of Ricki and the Flash.

A Ricki-Inspired Evening for RICKI AND THE FLASH #RickiAndTheFlash

ricki and the flash night outThe heart and soul of Ricki and the Flash is Ricki Rendazzo, an aging rock musician who gave up quite a bit to dedicate herself to her craft.

While attending the Ricki and the Flash press junket, Sony and Columbia Pictures treated our group of bloggers to a night of Ricki-inspired fun after we screened the movie at Sony’s offices in New York City.

I didn’t have a detailed itinerary of how the night was scheduled, so I was surprised to be greeted with a cocktail almost immediately after exiting the viewing room.

ricki and the flash drinkIt really wasn’t a surprise that the drink was called a Cherry Lime Ricki!

Across the room were two hair and makeup artists set up to give all of us Ricki-inspired makeup and hair.

ricki and the flash makeup

I was feeling like a huge failure because I actually forgot to have a picture taken with the final result of my makeover! Then I remembered my friend Enza from Enzasbargains.com snapped a selfie of the two of us shortly before leaving Sony’s offices:

ricki and the flash review

I’m so glad I have friends who are much better than I am at documenting these kinds of experiences 🙂

After everyone who wanted their hair and makeup done had the chance to do it, we boarded a shuttle and headed for Hill Country for dinner and entertainment.

hill country new york ricki and the flash

Hill Country is a barbecue restaurant in the middle of New York’s Flatiron district and it feels like you’ve been transported to Texas the moment you walk through the door!

We were ushered downstairs where we had authentic country-style foods like deviled eggs, brisket, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and lots of other eats. I’m not the biggest fan of barbecue, and I still ended up feeling close to stuffed by the time the platters were cleared from the table!

As we were eating, The Balladeers took the stage and entertained us with a variety of country and classic rock music. Their sound was perfect for the location. It allowed some people to completely focus on their performance, and the volume was a level that allowed the rest of us to converse with each other.

The evening was finished with homemade 7-layer brownies and chocolate chip cookies. It’s a good thing our shuttle arrived shortly after I had one of each, because the two treats on top of a big meal at the end of a long day definitely had me ready for bed!

Overall, the night out with Sony to celebrate Ricki and the Flash was fantastic, and a great way to get me excited for our press conference the following day!

I’ll have all the details on the interview I did with Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield and Mamie Gummer in just a few days, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

If you can’t wait to hear more, check out my instagram account where I’ve shared highlights of the junket.

ricki and the flash movie poster

About Ricki and the Flash:

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep), a one-time wife and mother of three who left her family behind to follow her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

Now, the singer and guitarist must face the music when she returns home to Indiana to reconnect with ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline), troubled daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) and engaged son Josh (Sebastian Stan).

Filled with regret, Ricki hopes to find redemption for all of the bad choices that she made in the past.

Ricki and the Flash opens in theaters everywhere on August 7th, 2015. Get your tickets today!

Be sure to take a look at my first post inspired by the plot of Ricki and the Flash: Moms: 5 Ways to Keep Improving Your Relationship with Your Daughter

Disclosure: Sony Pictures Entertainment flew me to New York to participate in this press junket and other events related to the promotion of Ricki and the Flash.

Moms: 5 Ways to Keep Improving Your Relationship With Your Daughter

mother daughter relationships

Like mother, like daughter.

As I’ve grown older and more self aware, I find myself realizing how very much like my mom I am. We’re in no way identical in looks or personality, but it’s definitely not hard to see we’re related.

mirror mirror on the wall I am my mother after all

Now that I’m a mom to my own daughter, It’s both fun and frustrating to see quite a bit of myself in Piper. We’re both stubborn. We don’t mince words. We’re both sensitive and cry quite easily. We both love to read, love to laugh and love to hug.

Beyond our similarities in personality, it’s also hard to deny our physical likeness. Though Piper is far more adorable than I’ll ever be, I love to see my eyes and smile on her face.

Like everything else in life, I know that relationships change as time goes on. I love my daughter and cherish our moments together, and I want to do everything I can to keep our relationship as happy and healthy as it can possibly be. Actually, I want to continue to make it happier and healthier.

Here are 5 ways mothers can keep improving their relationships with their daughters:

1. Start early. Building a strong relationship with your daughter can start at birth. If you’re concerned that you haven’t given yourself and your daughter a fair shot at a good relationship, start now! There’s no time like the present to work on it.

2. Give her your undivided time. When Piper was as young as two years old she would recognize when she had me all to herself. My husband and my son would be otherwise occupied, and she would simply blossom under all the undivided attention from mom.

Nothing says I love you and I respect you like giving someone your full attention. In our age of distractions, this is more valuable than ever!

3. Give praise. Positive reinforcement is rewarding good behavior rather than punishing the bad. I don’t believe in giving too much praise to either one of my kids, and I especially love how Piper soaks up any compliments and praise she receives.

4. Build trust. Trust is the foundation for any relationship, and it’s more than just not lying to your daughter. Trust is earned by following through on promises (even the small ones), keeping secrets and being there when you say you’re going to be there.

5. Be honest. Without honesty, we can’t have trust, right? Depending on the subject matter, the truth can definitely hurt your daughter’s feelings. At the same time, you can use your love for her to soften the blow in the best way possible, while still being honest.

Not one thing on the list is a magical item that will create or improve a relationship with your daughter, but combine them together and you have a pretty fantastic start!

Join me as I travel to New York City for the Ricki and the Flash press junket!

ricki and the flash movie poster

About Ricki and the Flash:

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep), a one-time wife and mother of three who left her family behind to follow her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

Now, the singer and guitarist must face the music when she returns home to Indiana to reconnect with ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline), troubled daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) and engaged son Josh (Sebastian Stan).

Filled with regret, Ricki hopes to find redemption for all of the bad choices that she made in the past.

Ricki and the Flash opens in theaters everywhere on August 7th, 2015. Get your tickets today!

Disclosure: Sony Pictures Entertainment flew me to New York to participate in this press junket and other events related to the promotion of Ricki and the Flash.