Combustible Celluloid
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With: Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Bette Midler, Carol Burnett, Laura Laplaca, Eduardo Machado, Charo, Journey Gunderson, Gregg Oppenheimer, David Daniels, Norman Lear, Desi Arnaz Jr., Michele Spitz (narrator)
Written by: Mark Monroe
Directed by: Amy Poehler
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, smoking and language
Running Time: 103
Date: 03/04/2022

Lucy & Desi (2022)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Making a Funny

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

SNL alum Amy Poehler directs this documentary, an essential companion piece to Aaron Sorkin's biopic Being the Ricardos. Rather than trying to cement Lucille Ball as the legend she already is, Poehler employs her own perspective as a woman in showbiz to make Ball's story seem both extraordinary, and human, as well as making Desi Arnaz an essential and sympathetic part of that story. Lucy & Desi charts both players' struggle to rise in the industry, until they meet on a movie called Too Many Girls in 1940. Their subsequent show, I Love Lucy, was popular and influential in a way that cannot be understated, and the doc does a great job of putting things in perspective. Even when Lucy and Desi's marriage begins to crumble, Poehler depicts the situation as realistic, with no heroes or villains. Even if you think you've seen everything there is to see on Lucy, this doc may surprise you.

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