There’s no business like show business, especially for America’s most famous redhead.
Amazon Original Documentary “Lucy and Desi,” directed by Amy Poehler, captures the on- and off-screen partnership between married couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. “Lucy and Desi” premiered at 2022 Sundance, and will be released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video March 4.
The film charts Ball and Arnaz’s romance, culminating in iconic sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
Per the logline, “Defying the odds, they re-invented the medium, on the screen and behind the cameras. What Lucy and Desi couldn’t make work with each other, they gave to the rest of the world.”
“Lucy and Desi” includes interviews with Ball and Arnaz’s children, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill and Desi Arnaz Jr., as well as Norman Lear, Carol Burnett, and Bette Midler.
Director Poehler exclusively told IndieWire at the IndieWire Studio presented by Adobe that she sought a new “way in” to tell the behind-the-scenes story of beloved sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
“They are so famous and funny and successful, but over the years they’ve kind of become very 2D. They almost became Halloween costumes of people,” Poehler said of Ball and Arnaz. “We use a lot of patriarchal language around innovators, like ‘groundbreakers’ and ‘tastemakers’ and ‘geniuses,’ and I think sometimes we lose the humanness of people, the complicated human parts.”
Poehler continued, “The way they spanned a lifetime and were many things to each other is very inspiring. So we used that relationship as a structure in which to tell their story.”
Plus, Poehler sought out to showcase just how influential Arnaz was on “I Love Lucy.”
“He was a huge innovator and experimented in the form in ways that few people did,” Poehler said. “Because he was an outsider and a disruptor, he asked questions that people weren’t asking and therefore changed the way we make TV. And the way we make TV is very similar to how Desi first shaped it…His story is often, at best, minimized and, at worst, like he was lucky to be on the show. And he made the show! He created the show!”
IndieWire’s review of the documentary called the film “an essential, authentic salute to these trailblazers,” applauding Poehler’s weaving of Ball and Arnaz’s “voices into their own narrative arcs” onscreen.
Watch the trailer below.