Yesterday afternoon, Susie and I set out for the local art film house to see a movie. Our choice was Rickie and the Flash, Meryl Streep's latest, or Irrational Man, Woody Allen's latest. Despite the fact that neither of us is, to put it gently, a fan of rock music, we chose to pass on Allen's latest attempt to explain to himself why he never became a Philosophy professor and try the Streep vehicle.
It was the right choice. There really is absolutely nothing that Meryl Streep cannot do, and do brilliantly. The movie itself is a trifle, seemingly written by a committee of politically correct hacks, but Streep is off the charts wonderful as the aging leader of a little rock band that plays nights at a roadhouse, while she tries to make ends meet by working days as a checkout lady at a supermarket. Rickie, as she styles herself, has long since abandoned her husband [the admirable Kevin Kline in a very muted performance] and three children in Indianapolis to follow her musical dream on the West Coast. In a feel-good hokey
dénoument, she returns briefly to the gated community in which her husband lives with his second [African-American] wife, pulls her suicidal daughter out of a depression, and in a thoroughly predictable conclusion, wheels in her band [The Flash] to play at her son's wedding [the non-gay one].
As I say, I do not care for the music, but it is a delight to watch Streep give another virtuoso performance. Can this really be the same woman who played Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wore Prada and Karen Blixen in Out of Africa?