Meet Ricki Randazzo, Meryl Streep’s swaggering, leather jacket-wearing rock ‘n roll singer-guitarist character in the family drama Ricki and the Flash (Aug. 7). As we quickly learn in the film’s first trailer, which debuted over at People Wednesday evening, “This is the story of a rocker who’s going home to face the music.”
She’s got a giant tattoo of the American flag across her back. She belts out a credible version of Dobie Gray’s 1973 heavily covered classic “Drift Away” in the clip. And, oh yeah, it seems like her adult children (portrayed by Sebastian Stan and Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer) hate her guts.
“I have to live with that every day of my life,” Streep acknowledges in the trailer.
At issue, Ricki faced a difficult choice two decades earlier: follow a prescribed life as a wife and mother to two small children or pursue her dreams of rock stardom in Los Angeles. Ricki chooses the latter option, causing a seemingly irreparable family fissure. And that strained family dynamic is put to the test, when the bar band frontwoman discovers Julie’s significant other—her husband? Boyfriend?—has walked out on her, spiraling the young woman into despair and returns to Indiana in what is initially perceived as a “too little, too late” bid to help.
The film—written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme—also introduces Rick Springfield as the lead guitarist in Ricki’s band, the Flash, and showcases Streep’s character’s salty worldview.
“Lots of things are going to change in your life,” Ricki tells Julie. “One day you’re going to wake up and find a grey hair.” She waits a beat before adding with a wicked laugh: “And I don’t mean on your head!”