Being The Ricardos
Release Date: December 21, 2021
Run Time: 2 hours & 11 minutes
Reviewed By: Edwina
“In 1952, Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) face personal and professional obstacles that threaten their careers, their relationship, and their hit television show.“
Centering around the I Love Lucy show and stars, Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem), the movie takes place over the course of one week of production, after Ball has been called a “communist” by Walter Winchell. We see Lucy and Desi defend herself against the network. We see the toughness of Lucy, her demands as an actress, and the relationships between her and her co-stars, Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) and William Frawley (J.K. Simmons). More importantly, the movie focuses on the relationship with Lucy and Desi. We learn how they met and get to see the passion and emotion of their relationship. The one thing that is clear, despite the ups and downs, is their support of each other.
The movie deals, in real time, with production week, but also historical points, spoke from others involved in the creation of their careers and points that reference their back story. Lucy and Desi had many obstacles in their careers. They were told an “all American” girl married to someone of Hispanic origin would never be accepted on television. When they wanted to incorporate her pregnancy into the storyline, they were told a woman could never be pregnant on TV ( the word “pregnant” was not even allowed on television). Lucy and Desi were determined to do things their way and by doing that, became one of the most popular married couples in the history of television.
By the end of the featured production week, J. Edgar Hoover announces to the studio audience by telephone that Lucy has been cleared of being a communist. In reality, there was no phone call, but her name was cleared at a press conference by Rep. Donald L. Jackson, Chairman of the House Un-American Activities. The J. Edgar Hoover version certainly proved more dramatic in build up and follow through, in my opinion.
As a fan of I Love Lucy, I had to see this movie. I have to be honest, I had a tough time. I started watching and after 49 minutes, I had to stop and go back to it later. It was slow in the initial viewing for me, but got better when I returned. I loved the back story and learning about Lucy and Desi. I thought they had a beautiful love story, despite all of their problems.
Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, and J.K. Simmons are all nominated for Oscars for their performances. I loved watching them all do scenes from some of the more popular I Love Lucy television shows. Although, in my opinion, this one is not Oscar worthy, but it’s definitely entertaining. I give Being the Ricardos a 6.5 out of 10 rating. If you are an I Love Lucy fan, you will definitely enjoy looking back on this iconic couple. If you aren’t a fan, I really don’t think it’s worth your time.