Movie Review and Movie Summary of Lucy and Desi (2022)

The network didn’t want to cast Arnaz as Ball’s husband. But Ball was fed up with her husband leaving all the time because he was performing in nightclubs; she wanted something they could do together. It worked very well for a few years. However, Arnaz had bigger ambitions. They bought RKO, Hollywood’s largest independent film studio, and renamed it Desilu, where they produced some of the most successful television series of the 20and century, from the original “Star Trek” to “Mission: Impossible” and “The Andy Griffith Show”. It is moving to hear Ball and Arnaz confess that they have been overwhelmed by their success, feeling pressured to keep growing but not appreciating any of it, especially for Ball, the underperforming administrative responsibilities. Arnaz grew up rich and wanted to quit. Ball grew up poor and couldn’t stop working.

They survived failures, but success was a bigger challenge. Poehler and writer Mark Monroe acknowledge but downplay the role of Arnaz’s feminization and drinking as the reason for their breakup, almost suggesting it was somehow the fault of Ball’s biggest hit as a that interpreter. Their daughter, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill sadly describes a disastrous family trip where her parents argued the whole time.

As we move away from the beginnings of easily accessible technology like home movies, video and cell phones, we will see more and more documentaries looking back at influential people through the literal prism of cinematic images. archive; some new, some very familiar to us, both reframed by previously unrevealed information. Recent examples include series on Bill Cosby and Woody Allen as well as films on Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Whitney Houston. This film is exceptionally adept at matching imagery to commentary in thoughtful, illuminating, and often touching pairings.

It is terribly sad to see the last snippets of their performances in this context. Their deep bond was palpable in “I Love Lucy.” The tension in their relationship is painfully evident in the follow-up “Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour.” They still played Lucy and Ricky on TV, but Ball and Arnaz seemed distracted and awkward. It is, after all, a love story. And the final scene, as Lucille Ball listens to the words Desi Arnaz let her hear when she received her Kennedy Center Honor, is as tender a love story as ever filmed.

On Prime Video today.

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