Ricki and the Flash
An aging rocker (Meryl Streep) returns to Indiana, and the ex-husband she ran out on years before (Kevin Kline), in order to help her estranged daughter (Mamie Gummer) through a messy divorce. Diablo Cody's script glosses over its own ironies—for example, that the runaway husband is only doing what the mother did, and for similar selfish reasons, or that this aging diva's dream of rock stardom amounts to fronting a third-rate cover band in a string of sleazy dives across the San Fernando Valley—and in the end Cody opts for a facile, fuzzy embrace of that most cherished myth of pop culture, the healing power of rock ‘n' roll. What salvages the movie is the raw honesty of the acting, especially Streep and Gummer (mother-daughter in real life)—that, and the fact that the music really is pretty cool. J.L.