The filmmakers of the light-weight documentary “Lucy and Desi” benefited from a humiliation of riches. Over a few years, in lots of of hours of footage, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz enacted a simulacrum of their home life in “I Love Lucy.” In her chronicle of the duo’s romance and work, the director, Amy Poehler, attracts liberally from this trove.
These tv clips are probably the most evocative and transporting components of the documentary, which regardless of its materials provides restricted perception into its central couple. Speaking-head interviews with historians and kids of the pair’s collaborators usher us by the many years at a clipped tempo that, together with the space of elapsed time, provides the story an impersonal really feel. Joyful durations take heavy priority over misfortunes, and a few troublesome subjects, similar to Arnaz’s womanizing, come up solely obliquely.
However the film’s most irritating selections concern Ball’s registration with the Communist Social gathering, a scandal that takes middle stage in the biopic “Being the Ricardos.” Poehler merely touches on the episode’s most acquainted particulars earlier than utilizing it as a leaping off level to explain Arnaz’s escape from Cuba. We be taught that Arnaz’s father, a rich mayor below the Gerardo Machado administration, was arrested in the course of the revolution. Reasonably than demystify these politics or examine the place Ball’s views differed from Arnaz’s, the film takes pains to underline Arnaz’s disdain for Communism and appreciation for the US.
Here’s a documentary that invitations us to please within the sudden pairing of a famed humorous woman and a hunky musician — however with out evaluation or nuance. Higher to flip on a number of “I Love Lucy” reruns as an alternative.
Lucy and Desi
Rated PG. Working time: 1 hour 43 minutes. Watch on Amazon.