Meryl Streep can do no wrong—and her recent turn as a guitar-wielding rocker in Ricki and the Flash is the latest proof. Playing Ricki Rendazzo, a mother of three and singer in a house band (The Flash) at a bar in Tarzana, Calif., she tears through covers by Tom Pretty and U2 with the ease and confidence of a seasoned musician. The film, in theaters today, centers around her quest to make things right with her family in Indianapolis after abandoning them to pursue her dream of musical stardom. It's funny, touching, honest, and inarguably showcases the veteran actress in a new light, once again exceeding our already sky-high expectations. Below, six reasons why Streep nails her new role.
1. Her epic stage moniker.
After up and leaving the Midwest for the rolling hills of L.A., Rendazzo trades her married name, Linda Brummel, for Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine and frontwoman of The Flash. Fun fact: The character is inspired by a woman named Terry Cieri, lead singer of New Jersey-based band Silk and Steel and screenwriter Diablo Cody's mother-in-law.
2. Her on-point wardrobe.
When she's not sporting form-fitting lace dresses (pictured above), Streep's character favors stacked heel combat boots, colorful pants, and leather moto jackets—always with the requisite neck and arm party.
3. Her unkempt mane.
Even if the agenda calls for a quaint garden wedding, Rendazzo will don her trademark half-braided punk hairstyle. And she will crush it.
4. She's a total feminist.
In a cathartic and emotionally-packed scene following an unsuccessful visit with her family, Rendazzo takes a moment onstage to deliver one of the most shining pieces of dialogue in the film. Visibly frustrated by the perils of being a mother and simultaneously achieving career goals, she cites famous male rockers who, unlike her, were never shunned for pursuing their dreams and calls bulls***t.
5. She knows the benefits of a good blowout.
After being summoned home by her ex-husband, Pete, to mother her estranged daughter, Julie, Rendazzo does what any other beauty-savvy woman would do and drags her to the salon to tame her unruly bed-head, a result of her presumably not showering for days following her sudden divorce from her husband.
6. She can cover Dobie Gray with as much chutzpah as she does Lady Gaga.
At the behest of the younger patrons at Valley bar, The Flash belts out modern hits including a thrilling rendition of "Bad Romance" that prompts every millennial in the room to immediately gravitate toward the dance floor. Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah.
Watch the music video for "Cold One" below, and buy the Ricki and the Flash Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for $12 on the iTunes Store.