Being the Ricardos

I don’t see very many movies at all, less of the ones that are popular and current. I’d been hearing about this movie being released, and because it was free with my Amazon Prime account, I decided to watch it. Why? Well, because I grew up with and watched Lucy and Desi on the “I Love Lucy” show and always enjoyed the episodes. Because Nicole Kidman was in the starring role and she’s half of one of the world’s greatest couples (I love Keith in a non-romantic way). Because other people were talking about the movie and I might have the opportunity to add my insights into a current trend topic.

I ended up having a love/hate feeling about this movie. I thought both Lucy and Desi were played well by the actor/actress assigned to the role. I learned about what physical comedy was and how very different it is from verbal comedy. I enjoyed seeing Lucy portrayed as a strong and independent woman throughout the time of the show and not the ‘ditz’ she was often portrayed as on the show. And I liked that the writers/directors/producers brought back some memories of specific physical comedies in the original show. I can remember the episode where Lucy stomped barefoot on grapes, I can remember the episode where Lucy and Ethel are stuffing chocolate candies coming off of the line in a factory wherever they could find places to stuff them because they were too slow to keep up with the production line. And who can ever forget the commercial Lucy tried to make selling Vitameatavegamin? (That’s still a tongue-twister even when seeing the word in written form!)

What I didn’t like is that I couldn’t keep up with the time frame changes. The movie was to show us a week in the life of Lucy and Desi from first table reading to final performance each week. And it did that adequately. But those segments of that “week” were interspersed with segments of Lucy and Desi from first meeting, through marriage, through pregnancy, through Lucy confronting Desi about an affair. For me, the smoothness of transition from what was supposed to be following them doing the show to following them being the Arnez’s didn’t exist.

I’m not unhappy I sat down to watch this movie. It did fill in some timelines of Lucy and Desi in real life – aka behind the scenes – and I appreciate Lucille Ball for her tenacity and independence and brains that we didn’t often see. In fact, I can’t remember if there was that much media coverage of them as a married couple at all!

Would I watch it again? Well, I could. I don’t think I lost anything, including time, in watching the movie. And again, I am grateful for the opportunity to know Lucy for who she really was as a woman. I could watch it again without issue, but I’m perfectly okay if I don’t watch it again as well.

Have you seen the movie? If so, please share your review of it in the comments.

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