Rob Reviews "Lucy and Desi"
There are not enough accolades on this planet that can truly fit the amazing life and career that was shared by Lucille ball and Desi Arnaz. From fearlessly breaking barriers of all types to making entertainment history and changing the landscape forever, their legacy of love, laughter, heartbreak, and genius will resonate long after our children’s children have come and gone. It is also seen in their influence on many of the personalities that have become their contemporaries, and their story has been made into an Academy Award nominated film in “Being the Ricardos”. Aside from that, “SNL” legend Amy Poehler has directed a documentary of their story that has also hit Amazon Prime Video in the simply titled “Lucy and Desi”.
Telling their story from beginning to end, Poehler makes a couple of great decisions here. First and foremost, she lets the story tell itself using newly found recordings of interviews with both of its subjects laced over classic restored footage from each and every stage of their careers and lives. Within that, she limits the “talking head” segments and participants to no more than a handful, and the quality is definitely here over the quantity with their daughter and direct influences like Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.
I am not afraid to admit that it has been a while since I watched an episode of the show that changed the game in “I Love Lucy,” but I did watch it a LOT as a kid in reruns (in case you are not aware, the concept of “reruns” came from this show when Lucy needed time off to give birth, so they showed previously recorded episodes to give the network consistent content), and reliving those memories brought me not only back to a simpler time in my life but also put a smile across my face that I truly needed at that moment.
This documentary is also packed FULL of emotion and runs the gambit in that category. I am not afraid to say I got a bit misty towards the end (a longer than normal 105 minutes for a documentary) as both Lucy and Desi’s lives hit their twilight years. There was a LOT here for me to learn outside of just knowing the generalities of their lives apart from each other and how it affected them personally and professionally. Although it’s not all sunshine-and-rainbows, it is also not all darkness either, and Poehler makes sure to cover all of it with respect and integrity so as not to make “Lucy and Desi” into a tell-all type of film. She understands that it is important to recognize the valleys as well as celebrating the mountaintops of their lives and careers.
No matter the level of knowledge you have of the Ricardos, “Lucy and Desi” can both educate and entertain each and every person the queues it up. If you have not visited their brilliant work (and you may be surprised on the number of projects that you may love that they are responsible for) recently, this film could be the spark that motivates to give them another go-around.