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Rock on, Ricki

Meryl Streep stars in screenwriter Diablo Cody's "Ricki and the Flash" (PG-13) as a woman who abandoned her husband and children to chase rock stardom, and decades later re-connects with them. Kevin Kline plays Ricki's square ex with wonderful deadpan, and Streep's real-life daughter Mamie Gummer is ideally cast as Ricki's frenzied daughter. Ex-Minnesotan Cody writes some of the best dialogue around, and knows how to make this story feel sweet rather than sardonic. So do Streep and director Jonathan Demme, a filmmaker of great empathy to American pop. "Ricki and the Flash" is rueful and entertaining, hilarious and sad, often at the same time.

Colin Covert