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‘Lucy and Desi’ review: Documentary filled with laughs and love

The only thing red about her was her hair.

Lucy and Desi is a deeper dive into the couple than the recently released Being the Ricardos. Instead of examining the relationship through the lens of one hectic week, it looks at the duo’s entire career together. The documentary is also a testament to love and laughter. Director Amy Poehler does not try anything new as the expected talking heads and archival footage are here. That being said, it is nice to see the star power that Bette Midler and Carol Burnette bring. This is mixed with the genuine feeling from friends and family.

Love is a running theme of Lucy and Desi. Even though the documentary can get a little too rigid in its presentation, the passion between the two comes through the screen. Along with interviews and home movies, there are screen tests and promotional pictures shown. Even more touching are the stories that are shared. Even through the hardships and their eventual divorce, the two cared deeply for each other.

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It is impossible to talk about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz without talking about their many contributions to the entertainment industry. Everything from fan favorite shows like Star Trek to legendary comedians can look to Desilu Studios for getting their initial foothold. It is also impressive to hear about Arnaz’s amazing work ethic. As he states in Lucy and Desi, he never learned moderation. Hearing the story of how he progressed from making $39 a week to running the largest independent television studio in Hollywood is a testament to hard work paying off.

The main question about Lucy and Desi is not whether it is good. Anything that focuses on the work of Ball is going to be entertaining and funny by default. That is certainly the case here, as Lucy and Desi The question becomes is it necessary? There is a lot to choose from when it comes to Lucille Ball – and this is not even counting the hundreds of hours of great television she is a part of. It does not take long to realize it is an essential watch. Those who have only heard of I Love Lucy will see why it is such an important part of American television. Fans will get to see the clips they already love along with candid comments from famous fans and family. 

Lucy and Desi comes exclusively to Prime Video March 4

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