Archives for posts with tag: Meryl Streep

By the time I got done watching “She Devil” (1989), I realized I hadn’t really watched it at all. Not like “just watching a movie,” anyway. I’d examined it, as I might examine a client’s tax information, or a sheet of football statistics, trying to solve a puzzle or discern a trend. Trying to learn something. What did I learn from this lowest-common-denominator comedy in which a scorned, frumpy housewife seeks revenge (spoiler alert: hijinks ensue)? Roseanne Barr is unlikeable at a molecular level, Meryl Streep tries too hard – at everything – and a bad movie isn’t worth “just watching” sometimes.

There’s this weird simpatico between Meryl Streep and her character in “Ricki and the Flash” (2015). Ricki is a washed-up rock musician and we see a lot of the washed-uppedness, with her waking up looking like a wreck, having to work at a grocery store (echoes of “The Wrestler”), close-ups of her taking her makeup off, etc. And you’re seeing a stripped-down Meryl having to play a real person, not someone with a foreign accent, or from 200 years ago, or anything like that. It doesn’t make this average family dramedy any better, but it does make it more interesting.


A movie about a guy writing a movie about a book. About orchids. Seriously? Yet “Adaptation” (2002) works. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a Maggie Gyllenhaal sighting. And a Catherine Keener sighting. Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper as stars don’t hurt, either. But mainly it’s the intricately interwoven plot that’s part book, part writing a movie about the book, and part crazy, made-up shit. I’m loathe to make the comparison, but it’s like an orchid. Delicate, high maintenance, occasionally satisfying. (I love gardening and houseplants. I’ve had a couple orchids. What pains in the ass. But… oh, hello, Nicholas Cage.)