Being the Ricardos Poster

Being the Ricardos (2021)

Biography | Drama | History
Rayting:   6.6/10 30K votes
Country: USA
Language: English
Release date: December 21, 2021

Follows Lucy and Desi as they face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

thesar-2 2 January 2022

It was funny, it was empowering and it was a jumbled mess. For every positive, I found an equal opposite feeling and it was all on the usually great Nicole Kidman's shoulders.

I think she tried her best, but damn, Kidman was such a distraction throughout this movie. It's bad enough Javier Bardem looked nothing like Desi Arnaz, Kidman only had glimpses of Lucy in her face, and most of the time it looked like she was trying for a young Glenn Close. Mercifully, I believed J. K. Simmons as William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance. Those two STOLE this movie, hands down.

The idea of Being the Ricardos got me all pumped up before. I practically grew up on this show and I did truly love Lucy. But, this "non-fiction" "film-adaptation" of the behind-the-scenes drama from the show, I Love Lucy, is so far all-over the place, you'll spent one third of the time trying to figure out which of the three main timelines you're in, one third of the movie trying to see Lucy in Nicole and the final third laughing at the wonderful side character's perfect delivery of the funny script.

Post viewing, it was pointed out to me how many inaccuracies were in this movie and that's too bad. I really wanted to believe these things really did happen in a span of a week. Obviously, a ton were dramatized and I would've accepted that, but apparently, they took the easy approach of just lumping the shows/stars' many dramatic occurrences over the years and placed them in one-week's timeframe.

If you can get over Nicole is NOOO Lucy and Javier is way too old to play Desi, you might like this take. I will say Simmons, Arianda and the other costars, including the hilarious Alia Shawkat (also brilliant in The Final Girls and Arrested Development,) really boosted this movie. That and the sets, direction and humor.

***

Final Thoughts: I was so happy when they referenced my favorite episode involving the Vitameatavegamin commercial. And even loved seeing the reference to the grape-stopping episode featured in Pretty Woman even though it wouldn't be even thought up until years after the main timeline.

blanbrn 16 December 2021

Never really a watcher of "I Love Lucy" as it was before my time and never really watched reruns still I watched this film due to liking history and seeing the star power of Kidman and Bardem. "Being the Ricardos" was one well done in depth film as it spotlights and looks at the life of one Lucille Ball(Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz(Javier Bardem) shown are the behind the scenes drama and meetings in the writing room before going on set, plus you see the acting and chemistry as both film scenes together. However to make things more interesting the media sees the couple as a high wire act as scandal rumors with tabloid investigations that involve political scares and personal accusations of affairs nearly derail this couple. Things get complex for the couple still they are romantic and loving and work together as for her day and time Mrs. Ball(in a sexy turn from Nicole Kidman) was a fine looking lady. The film is well written and directed in an informative way from Sorkin as it's a super well done showcase of a legendary power couple and it's a watch for the performances of Nicole and Javier.

dougdoepke 16 January 2022

I grew up watching Lucy. So naturally I was looking for insight into both the actors and the show they produced. As entertainment, it's hard to keep the many threads and flashbacks of the documentary from merging in confusing style. All in all, there's more success with some snippets than with overall coherence. My conclusion is the production tried to do too much even in a 2 hour-plus format. An effort at reorganizing, I think, would have helped.

Some snippets of Lucy, Desi and the show appear more successful, though I can only compare them with what gossip the tabloid press has printed over time. Some of those items include: Vance and Frawley's mutual dislike; Lucy having Vance 'dress-down' so as not to compete visually; censors forbidding word 'pregnant' from being used; plus other provocative notes. Too bad, however, that more of the Ricardo's domestic life is not characterized. After all, pressures from the series production must have been felt at home as well as on the set. Anyway, Desilu is one of Hollywood's all-time power couplings, whose interesting effects endure even into the present day. I'm just hoping for a less congested and contrived approach than this one. Their legacy deserves it.

Gordon-11 20 February 2022

"Being the Ricardos" features an almost unrecognisable Nicole Kidman, who gives a good performance. I don't quite resonate with the plot though, as I have never heard of the real life characters or the TV show. I find the two main characters a bit too overbearing, so I didn't quite enjoy the plot.

blanche-2 24 December 2021

Either I know more about Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo than their children do, or their children, being investors in this film, didn't care what Aaron Sorkin wrote.

Of course, there is such a thing as dramatic license - okay. However, this went above and beyond. I will cite a few things here, but by no means ALL:

Ricky and Lucy didn't meet the way as shown in the film. Lucille showed up at a rehearsal to say hello to the director of whatever movie Ricky was doing, and she was a mess from her previous film, all as shown. When she came back another time, Ricky didn't realize it was the same woman. When he did, he said, "That's a hunk of woman!"

Immediately before the filming of episode 68 ("The Girls Go Into Business") of I Love Lucy (which did not include fixing Fred up with a woman), Desi Arnaz, instead of his usual audience warm-up, told the audience about Lucille and her grandfather. Reusing the line he had first given to Hedda Hopper in an interview, he quipped:

"The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that is not legitimate."

Lucille Ball was 31 when she made the Big Street at RKO, not 39. RKO had suspended her when she refused to be billed fourth in a film. Her good reviews for The Big Street brought a better offer from MGM.

What was the deal with mentioning Judy Holliday? Holliday wasn't around, even on Broadway, until the mid-40s and didn't make a splash in film until circa 1949. She was no rival to Lucille Ball.

Jean Arthur and Barbara Stanwyck were sought for The Big Street; Runyon insisted on Ball.

Aaron Sorkin's script is a muddled mess, combining the Communist scare and little Ricky's birth, which happened in two different years. The result for me anyway is that they both got lost amid Lucy's staging of one scene in the show, which was episode 22, not 37.

Also, in real life, Lucille Ball was referred to as Lucille, not Lucy.

Regarding the performances, I thought Nicole Kidman had the voice and personality down flat. As far as her face being frozen, I'm not sure that much makeup was necessary. Bardem looks nothing like Arnaz, so why the pressure to have Kidman look exactly like Lucy? She had the hair, the eyes, the voice, the essence. A little less makeup would have been fine.

I know people say she was miscast because they wanted a lookalike. Debra Messing would have been fine for the "I Love Lucy" part but she is not the actress that Kidman is. Bardem was excellent. J. K. Simmons and Nina Arianda were fabulous as Fred and Ethel. Actually the whole cast was excellent and totally wasted.

TxMike 22 December 2021

This new Amazon original movie came available today, my wife and I watched it streaming.

I suspect there are two different audiences and levels of appreciation for this movie - those who grew up watching "I Love Lucy" and those who didn't. My wife and I are the former, I was 12 when the show ended its run, I have a very clear memory of the TV show, a little from original shows and more from watching reruns. In the hit show, Lucille Ball as Lucy was a bit dimwitted.

In real life Ball was nothing like that. She was bright and driven and often attended too little to the feelings of others. She had high standards for episodes, while her husband Desi was the businessman behind it all. Together they formed quite a team and "I Love Lucy" was one of the most successful entertainment enterprises ever.

This movie focuses on a particular week during which they geared up for that week's episode, but also were hit with headlines that implicated Ball as a member of the Communist Party. Plus Lucille found out she was pregnant with her second child. When the episode was about to be filmed for the week there was a call from J Edgar Hoover to Desi, shared with the live audience, but that was creative license, in real life it didn't happen. The movie also shows some of the formative years, as far back as the 1940s, and the events that shaped her career direction.

Kidman and Bardem are wonderful in their roles and the whole movie is a superb glimpse into what "I Love Lucy" was all about, especially all the things we DIDN'T see during the telecasts. I viewed it again a few weeks later and enjoyed it even more because I had a clearer image of what all was going on. I will likely view it a few more times, it is that good.

Also worthwhile looking up is a 2020 documentary "Finding Lucy", 83 minutes long, now easily available for free viewing on the internet. I watched it also and it helps appreciate the movie even more. After she and Desi were divorced she bought out his share of Desilu studios. She became the boss, she made the tough decisions. To her credit it was during her watch that two groundbreaking TV series were approved - 'Mission: Impossible" and "Star Trek." I'd say she was overall a pretty successful lady in show business. I love Lucy.

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