For many “I Love Lucy” is their favorite sitcom. The show broke grounds on so many levels, however writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos,”strolls haphazardly along never really adding anything to Lucille Ball’s and Desi Arnaz’s story. Taking place during the last episode of “I Love Lucy,” we start with the table read to the end, with flashbacks that fill in the gap, that you wonder why not just tell the story and let it unfold.
There are so many crises and conflicts that one becomes dizzy from the ride.
Nicole Kidman, plays Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem is Desi Arnaz. Thier performances never really give us the feel of this couple. A better film along with performances is the 2003 “Lucy” starring Rachel York and Danny Pino.
Who steals this film is Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance and J.K. Simmons as William Frawley. When they are in the film it shines, breathing life into the tumultuous feud between the two.
The one part of the film that hits a note is the McCarthy Red Scare that went after Lucille Ball. Though Ball had previously been cleared, a tabloid dredges up old “evidence” scarring both Lucy and the shows sponsor Philip Morris. At the same time the tabloids are daily writing about Desi’s affairs.
Also blended into the film are documentary-style interviews with Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, and Bob Carroll Jr.,. The best part of this is Linda Lavin, John Rubinstei and Ronny Cox play them. The weird part is you wonder why these three actors are here.
“Being the Ricardos” won’t bore you, but it won’t add anything to your life either. If you want to see a better film I recommend “Lucy.”