A lot is being made about the fact that Meryl Streep plays a guitar-wielding rocker and the estranged mother to her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer in Ricki and the Flash.
That’s all cool. But there are three pairings that really make me more interested in seeing this movie than I typically would be for something that looks like it will play as well in my living room as on the really big screen:
Meryl and Kevin Kline, together again: The last time we saw these two playing opposite each other was when Streep won her first best actress Oscar for the title role in Sophie’s Choice. Kline played Nathan, Sophie’s violent lover in the 1982 adaptation of William Styron’s novel, when both actors stars were on the ascent. The only other time they were in a feature film together was 2006’s A Prairie Home Companion, where Streep coincidentally played a country singer, but as I recall, they did not interact much. In Ricki, Streep and Kline play an estranged couple whose daughter brings them back together. Some reviews have said the film would have benefited from more Streep-Kline screen time.
Meryl and Audra McDonald, together! In this corner, you have the most honored film actress currently working in Meryl. In this corner, you have the most honored stage actress ever with six-time Tony Award winner McDonald. And they apparently get to clash, because McDonald plays Kline’s current wife — the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Preston Jones writes that they have, “an electrifying confrontation.” Act off!
Meryl and … Rick Springfield?: When she was playing Sophie and he was playing Jessie’s Girl and a dreamy doctor on General Hospital, did you ever think these two would play opposite each other in a major motion picture, written by an Oscar-winning writer (Diablo Cody) and directed by an Oscar-winning director (Jonathan Demme)? Never even considered the possibility until I saw the trailer.
Despite its pedigree, Ricki has been called Lifetime-esque. But those three Meryl and … pairings and an open afternoon or evening might just persuade me to drop a few bills on this movie.