The filmmakers of the light-weight documentary “Lucy and Desi” benefited from a humiliation of riches. Over a few years, in tons 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 despite its materials gives restricted perception into its central couple. Speaking-head interviews with historians and youngsters of the pair’s collaborators usher us by the many years at a clipped tempo that, together with the space of elapsed time, offers the story an impersonal really feel. Joyful durations take heavy priority over misfortunes, and a few troublesome matters, reminiscent of Arnaz’s womanizing, come up solely obliquely.
However the film’s most irritating selections concern Ball’s registration with the Communist Occasion, a scandal that takes heart stage within 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 study that Arnaz’s father, a rich mayor underneath the Gerardo Machado administration, was arrested through the revolution. Slightly 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 USA.
Here’s a documentary that invitations us to please within the surprising pairing of a famed humorous girl and a hunky musician — however with out evaluation or nuance. Higher to flip on a couple of “I Love Lucy” reruns as a substitute.
Lucy and Desi
Rated PG. Operating time: 1 hour 43 minutes. Watch on Amazon.