Waaaah Ricky, our movie’s terrible! 1

Lucille Ball, held hostage in Aaron Sorkin’s brain in ‘Being The Ricardos’ (2021)

So, count them, there are two movies now available, and curiously, both are streaming on Prime video. The first to be released was the biopic written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, Being The Ricardos. My notes written shortly after viewing here:

Well, it’s not fun. That’s for starters. The biopic/docudrama/dress-up-like-real-people-of-the-past movie, so greatly anticipated for all kinds of cultural reasons, is not just bad. It’s a bomb. It’s a stinker. It is relentlessly dark (ya’d never know these two people live in Los Angeles), it is relentlessly talky. It’s inert. it’s listless, it’s a downer. That’s what it is. What it isn’t is sexy, funny, charming, adorable, lively, or really insightful.

With all due respect to Nicole Kidman, this otherwise excellent actress, revered nearly universally, got in way over her head playing the even-more-revered Lucille Ball. How can a woman who has treated her face with chemicals, to the degree that none of her muscles operate independently, play someone who made faces like this, below, for a living?

Lucille Ball may be crying because of the mis-characterization of her close, respectful, sisterly relationship with actress Vivian Vance in the Sorkin film. As Lucie Arnaz remembered:

We already did our dance critic’s review of Being The Ricardos here. It got a thumbs down.

Luckily, PRIME is playing it both ways, airing a Lucy/Desi documentary, which, with a little luck, may help you forget Being the Ricardos. But there are other reasons to not miss Lucy and Desi. This new documentary, lovingly directed by Amy Poehler (but it’s far from sentimental), depicts a seemingly unstoppable romance between two creatives from very different worlds. They come together, make an insanely popular teevee show, have a pair of kids, and form a kingdom called Desilu. Then it sort of crumbles.

LUCY AND DESI | streaming on Prime Video starting March 4

One comment on “Waaaah Ricky, our movie’s terrible!

  1. David Mar 8,2022 1:20 pm

    Wow, thanks for articulating my thoughts exactly about the Sorkin film vs Poehler’s documentary. The doc is genuine, well researched, and thoughtful, and presents these two very talented and idiosyncratic people as the fascinating individuals they were. The film seems to be another work by Sorkin in which every character sounds, basically, like him: brusque, cold, intellectual, resentful, witty, and entirely without warmth. It seemed odd to filter the wide world of Desilu through Sorkin’s somewhat constrained emotional perspective.

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