Friday, December 10, 2021

Being the Ricardos

Being the Ricardos is aptly named as even though a large portion of the movie takes place on the set of I Love Lucy the film is really about the relationship between real-life husband and wife Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) and Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman). While neither of the actors much resemble who they are playing, and Kidman's look for the movie more closely resembles bad BOTOX than Lucille Ball at times, there's an interesting story here which is helped by the witty dialogue and pace of writer/director Aaron Sorkin's script.

The best aspect of the film is it showcasing how Lucille Ball fought for everything (and against everyone) to try and make the best show possible, which is the only place her marriage really worked. As if the show and her husband's womanizing weren't taxing enough. Ball also faces charges of being a Communist during the height of McCarthyism that threaten both her career and the future of the show.

J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda are fun casting as the on-screen neighbors who are the closest to the various dramas unfolding and also find themselves struggling to put up with their co-star's demands. We also get a number of notable actors (John Rubinstein, Linda Lavin, and Ronny Cox) playing older versions of the show's writing and production team looking back and offering commentary on events. Who exactly they are speaking to, other than the audience, is admittedly unclear.

Being the Ricardos is a fun film that offers some minimal insight into Lucille Ball, although less of Desi Arnaz, and a peek behind the curtain of one of television's most popular shows during one of its most tumultuous times. The sets are so lovingly recreated here and you feel a bit sad when the movie offers a flashback or an office scene away from the set. Although a bit more fluff than you might expect from Sorkin, fans of I Love Lucy should enjoy the film that is hitting theaters, and soon Prime Video, at the right time of year.

Watch the trailer

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