CINEMA: Supermom Shoots the Rapids

A smart, spunky Meryl Streep triumphs in The River Wild

It has taken a while to personify her perfectly on film, but here she is at last -- the ideal woman of feminist song, story and legend. Her name is Gail, she is played -- make that attractively humanized -- by the admirable Meryl Streep in The River Wild, and if men have any sense left, they will add a few bass notes to the trilling chorus of approval that is soon likely to rise from the soprano section when this otherwise rather routine movie opens.

Gail teaches at a school for the deaf. She is a firm but good-humored mom....

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