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14 February 1993 (USA)  »

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Not at all the Ricardos
20 July 2004 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

This documentary is brought to us by Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. This was a pet project of hers that was so obviously dear to her heart. After her mother's death, Lucie had found reels of film that she had never seen before. When she had viewed them she realized that they were old home movies of her parents from early in their marriage to about near the end of it. The problem was that there was no sound to any of the footage. Lucie knew that fans would have loved to have seen it so she put this documentary together.

Lucie manages to get as many family members, co-workers, friends and celebrities that knew her parents to speak in this documentary. Interviews, spliced with the home movie footage along with hundreds of photographs--Lucie manages to tell a turbulent story. A story that is not filtered through tabloids and exaggeration--but a natural and raw view of these two people who were so much in love. The admiration and adoration between the two lovers is explained through stories and anecdotes. It proves that "I Love Lucy" was "more than just a title." It starts to where each parent was born to how they got famous to their deaths.

Also, we learn of the deterioration of the marriage and how ugly it actually got between the two. Desi's constant unfaithfulness poisoned the relationship. That, along with his drinking that only escaladed as he was in charge of Desilu, their major TV company, grew in popularity. We understand how painful the marriage has become and how terrible it must have been for everyone involved---especially their children. Lucie and Desi Jr. are on camera speaking about how hard it was to go through times when their parents fought in front of them.

Lucy and Desi eventually moved on with their lives--Lucy trying to come back to television with more sitcoms--while Desi eventually retired. Although they had separate roads, they were so intertwined that they would never really ever part.

The last 10 minutes of this documentary is wonderful. It's a home movie shot by Lucie herself of her parents in a pool with their grandson. Although divorced for many years already, watching these two people in the pool--you realized--this wasn't Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz who played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, but rather: real people.

This is the most real we'll ever see Lucy and Desi. It is a true to form and real telling of the two lovers. This is the best documentary of Lucy and Desi--you have to watch. A masterpiece brought to you by their daughter, with love.


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