THERE IS A CERTAIN TYPE of woman who will refer to any dietary splurge as "being bad." E.g., "I think I will have another bite of honey lavender cheesecake! I'm being bad today!"
These women will really like Ricki and the Flash! Ricki is all about being bad today.
Ricki (Meryl Streep) has free-spirited, embarrassing white-lady hair, like Anne Lamott. Years ago, she left her husband and three young children to pursue her dreams of being a rock star. Now she works at Whole Foods and plays in a bar band on the side, with her boyfriend, aging musician Rick Springfield (Rick Springfield). ("How very self-aware of him!" we chuckle approvingly.) Ricki's adult children now hate her, which, given her decision to focus on her Ricki 'n' roll career, seems extremely reasonable—but when her daughter attempts suicide, a family reunion abruptly convenes. Ricki now wants to redeem herself, and she will, because even under all that overkill eyeshadow, she's still Meryl Streep.
Should you find yourself in a situation where viewing Ricki and the Flash is unavoidable, prepare yourself by watching the trailer. While the trailer is the nadir of human artistic accomplishment, lo these 200,000 years, it does serve as an effective inoculation against the movie itself. Pin your eyelids open so you can't blink, and let it enter you. Fill yourself with Meryl Streep's gravelly croon. The no-she-didn't joke about her graying pubic hair. The forced sentimentality of a mother trying to reconnect with her estranged children. Your body will activate the necessary defenses, so that when you go see the movie, the cringey highlights of the trailer will fade into the background of a standard-issue family drama that thinks it's more outrageous than it is. It's best if we politely ignore the thin attempts at edge, and the vague attempt to paint Ricki's parental deficiencies as some sort of principled stance against gender double standards. It's best if we avoid thinking too deeply about any of this.