Did you know that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's marriage and their hit TV show "I Love Lucy" wasn't always filled with laughter and happiness? Were you aware that Lucille Ball registered as a Communist when she registered to vote? How about Arnaz's infidelity?
Audiences learn about all these controversies and more that marred the famous couple's relationship in a packed plot which unfolds in one week during the movie's timeline.
Being the Ricardos - Official Trailer | Prime Videowww.youtube.com
Directed and written by Aaron Sorkin, he leaves plenty of obvious fingerprints behind in his latest movie "Being the Ricardos," starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as Lucy and Desi. This is a politically charged bio-drama, and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to the viewers.
Kidman and Bardem are wonderful actors, but they don't seem to carry the essence of their real life counterparts. Not only do they look nothing like Lucy and Desi, but when they try to capture their personalities it's hit or miss. And no, actors shouldn't have to look like the people they're playing. But when Bardem can nail a "don't mess with the Cuban" scene yet do an OK job with a Club Babalu scene, it's inconsistent with the characters' personalities. Same goes for Kidman: she is a great Ball impersonator when performing for the "I Love Lucy" cameras, but she lacks Ball's likability in her version of Lucy.
On the other hand, it's honestly refreshing to see that Nina Arianda and J.K. Simmons who played Vivian Vance and William Frawley (Ethel and Fred Mertz) completely embody their counterparts. Both actors do a great job of heightening the drama between these two people who called Lucy a friend.
Despite actors' best efforts, the plot feels like it loses focus on what it's trying to be. Is it a documentary in which interviews with writers and producers from the show offer their two cents on what happened the week "Lucy" was drowning in controversy? Is it a bio-drama about their marriage? There are too many big plots crammed into one movie.
One of the best plots in the film is trying to bring Lucy's pregnancy into episodes of "I Love Lucy." Even through their tumultuous marriage, this side plot shows how the two famously supported one another as equals during a time in Hollywood when women were expected to take a back seat. The film needed proper balance in showing positives and negatives, a narrower plot and better execution. There isn't a ton to love in "Being the Ricardos" for those hoping to go on a nostalgia trip. But for those in the mood to watch the world burn, you're in luck.
See "Being the Ricardos" in select theaters Friday, December 10, 2021, or on Amazon Prime Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Follow the reporter on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.