Review: Lucy and Desi (2022)

Lucy and Desi

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Run Time: 1 hour & 43 minutes

Reviewed By: Edwina

This film will explore the rise of comedian icon Lucille Ball, her relationship with Desi Arnaz, and how their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy forever changed Hollywood, cementing her legacy long after her death in 1989.

This documentary, directed by Amy Poehler, compiles the history of Lucy and Desi through their own audio tapes, home films, network films, and interviews with several celebrities. Most prominent is their own daughter, Lucy Arnaz Luckinbill as well as Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.

Being a fan of the I Love Lucy show, it was interesting to learn of Lucy‘s early beginnings, both on a personal and professional level. She was a woman who was not afraid to be “ugly” and go for belly laughs in a time when most women were just concerned with being beautiful. She was a true pioneer.

Desi came from a rich and influential background in Cuba, but when he got to the United States, he had to earn money by humble means. It was by pure chance that they met on their entertainment paths. Lucy and Desi were groundbreaking in the world of television production. It was taboo to have a “white” woman married to a “dark” person. It was taboo to be “pregnant” or even use that word on television. It was unheard of to have a woman in a powerful position such as vice president of their Desilu production company.

Lucy and Desi originally started the show because they wanted to be close and maintain their family. However, as Lucy grew more and more powerful, the marriage started to crumble. They tried to keep it together. Changing the format as they grew apart, but ultimately everything came to an end. What is clear, is that the minute they separated, they were able to be kind to each other and maintain their friendship until their deaths.

What I enjoyed most about this documentary is that we had an inside view to the true love that Lucy and Desi had for one another, even through their faults. Listening to others, (especially their daughter) talk of their drive, creative spirits, and mentorship to others made me feel like I really knew them.

I forgot how great they were and the skill of Lucy‘s physical comedy. I belly laughed watching clips of old performances and I know that I’ll be searching to watch the old shows soon. My eyes filled with tears when Lucy received her Kennedy Center Honor. A letter was read that Desi had written stating, “I Love Lucy” was never just a title. They continued throughout their lives to love and respect each other.

I would give this documentary a rating of 8.5. Occasionally, it was a bit slow, but most of the time kept my interest and I learned so many things about this wonderful couple. As a lover of entertainment, I was especially excited to learn of their rise and the obstacles that they both overcame. Personal footage and audio tapes were a plus. If you’re an I Love Lucy fan, this is one you don’t want to miss!

W2B Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Extra Scenes: None


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