Ricki And The Flash Movie Review

Sometimes, in life, you have to follow your dream. Even if following your dream means leaving the ones that you love.

In Ricki and the Flash, Ricki Randazzo aka Linda Brummel (Meryl Streep), gave her up middle class, middle American suburban life decades ago to live the rock and roll life style in Los Angeles. Her ex-husband, Pete (Kevin Kline) remarried and his second wife,  Maureen (Audra McDonald),  basically took over the mother-void left by Ricki.  Then Julie (Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real life daughter), Pete and Ricki’s daughter has an emotional breakdown after her husband leaves her. Returning to the life she left nearly 30 years ago, Ricki/Linda has to face her past and the choices she made.

Some of the reviews that I read tried to put a positive spin on the film, but in reality, other than praising Streep’s performance (as they tend to do, because she is Meryl Streep), they were not kind. I disagree with those reviews. I found this film to be enjoyable, funny and very entertaining. Streep has once again proved why she has the stature as an actress, disappearing into the skin of a woman who made the tough choice to live the dream and leave the typical suburban life that was expected of her.

For a woman who only sings when the part requires, she has a great voice. Her playing felt very authentic. But what struck me as the overarching theme of the film is forgiveness and second chances. We can never predict how the choices we make will affect our lives and the ones who love us. But we can hope that we can be forgiven for our mistakes and have the opportunity for a second chance.

I absolutely recommend it.

Ricki And The Flash is playing in theaters. 



The Systemic Failure And How It Hurts All Of Us

It’s a known fact that the American education system cannot be compared to educational systems in other countries. Our children’s education is lacking compared to their international peers and it shows.

One of the local papers reported the story of a New York City teenager, Melissa Mejia. Miss Mejia was not doing so well in school. But somehow, she passed her classes, received her diploma and is now on her on way to college.

We have a systemic failure. An outsider could easily point the finger at the teachers and ask why the students are failing. The problem is far more than the teachers themselves. The problem ripples beyond the teachers and beyond the school system.  The problem is our general society. Teachers are not given the respect that they are due. It is not easy to stand in front of a class of 25-30 kids and try to hold their attention throughout the day.

Another component of this problem is the parents. For any number of reasons, some children do not receive the necessary support to succeed in school. When a child sees that the parent is not investing in their education, they go through the motions of going to school without putting in the effort. This not only affects them individually, but as a society, when we are under-educated, our country suffers and our job market suffers.

When education is our priority, when teachers are respected and our children are expected to succeed in school, then we can truly compete on the global stage. But until then, we will lag behind the rest of the world and we will suffer the consequences.


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