While Amazon Prime’s Being the Ricardos offers a fascinating portrayal of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz during a particular span of time in their lives, Amazon Prime’s documentary Lucy and Desi offers a much more comprehensive story. Written by Mark Monroe and directed by Amy Poehler, this wonderful documentary film tells the complete story of the romance and careers of the two talented performers who would become icons of television. Monroe and Poehler offer the audience a mix of archival footage, interview excerpts and recordings by Lucille Ball, along with new interviews with the surviving friends and family of TVs most legendary couple.
One does not have to be a massive fan or at all familiar with Lucille Ball or Desi Arnaz to appreciate how fascinating a story these two entertainers and lovers shared. Both Ball and Arnaz came from humble beginnings, but had dreams of massive success in the world of entertainment. Struggling to make a huge splash on the big screen, Lucille Ball would endure within the entertainment business by working on mostly B-movies of both dramatic and musical varieties. Arnaz, a Cuban refugee in the United States, managed to get a break in the music business and make a name for himself through that form of entertainment.
After meeting the incomparable Lucille Ball on the set of movie musical Too Many Girls, he fell head over heels in love with the actress and she definitely felt the same way. The two performers would get the opportunity of a lifetime when they were both offered the sitcom I Love Lucy. This gave them the opportunity to remain close and work together. However, as the production company of Desilu began to take off after the success of the series, the demands of the business, along with the struggles of juggling careers and their personal lives all began to take a toll on their relationship.
There is definitely more to this story, but I will let my readers find that out for themselves. And this a documentary journey that is definitely worth taking. While one doesn’t have to be familiar with I Love Lucy or with Desi and Lucy’s life and careers, it does help with the appreciation of what these people went through to achieve their successful careers that would a huge impact on the entertainment business in so many ways–even ways of which I was not familiar. There is much to love in this documentary as it presents Desi, Lucy, and every one close to them as real people, and not just the larger-than-life legends they were.
The film covers a lot of ground in a short of amount time and proves to be a genuinely intriguing, and entertaining piece of documentary filmmaking. The movie is now available for viewing via Amazon Prime and is a movie I must passionately recommend.