“Follows Lucy and Desi as they face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.” -IMDB
If you’ve ever watched an Aaron Sorkin project, then you’ll realize within the first five minutes of Being the Ricardo’s that this is one of his. Although I hadn’t done any research on this film before going into it, the fast-paced dialogue, the wit, and the coldness clued me into the fact that (that dang) Sorkin was behind this. Let me clarify…
We all know Sorkin is a writing genius. The West Wing is one of the greatest shows that has been or ever will be on television. And his writing shines through once again in Being the Ricardo’s. The film is fast-paced, fraught with tension, and expects a certain level of intelligence from his audience. It is also a very interesting look behind the curtain of one of the most legendary and groundbreaking television shows of all time, during a precarious moment in American history. Those are the things that make this movie a good watch.
However, there is often a bit of heart that is missing in Sorkin’s work, especially the projects that he chooses to direct. This film focuses on one of the greatest comedies in the American television cannon and yet the laughs in this film are few and far between. I understand that this movie is meant to be a drama, but it seems like it could have been handled with a little more levity given the subject matter. This also comes down to Nicole Kidman. Although she is nominated for an Academy Award for this performance, it wasn’t my personal favorite. While her attempt at embodying Lucille Ball were valiant, the performance failed to connect and I found myself getting bored about 45 minutes into the film. Her accent also kept taking me out of the film (can we please let her and Benedict Cumberbatch use their real accents from here on out?!).
Overall, this was a solid movie. The dialogue, most of the acting, and the plot were interesting and engaging. But the lack of heart made the film drag a bit and made it more forgettable than I would have hoped. See or skip, I think you’ll be fine either way!
Rating: 6 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Social Network
Streaming: Amazon Prime
With: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, JK Simmons, Nina Arianda
Directed By: Aaron Sorkin