‘Lucy and Desi’ Review: The Story Behind the Power Couple that Changed Hollywood

Directed by Amy Poehler, LUCY AND DESI explores the unlikely partnership and enduring legacy of one of the most prolific power couples in entertainment history. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz risked everything to be together and their love for each other led to one of the most influential TV shows in history; ‘I Love Lucy’.

Both Desi and Lucy came from nothing but were able to make their way in Los Angeles thanks to hard work and a relentless pursuit of their dreams. After finding her calling in comedy, she began working her way up and eventually landed her own show. It was then that she made the power-move of a lifetime by “strongly” suggesting her husband Desi be cast as her husband on her show. Now as you can imagine, having a white woman with a brown person on TV in those days was seen as crazy and inappropriate. But it’s that very difference that would make the show unique in its appearance and would deliver a product in such high quality it would change the world.

(Original Caption) Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz going over business matters. Picture from Lucy’s personal file. Photo: Bettmann

The film is an insightful and intimate peek behind the curtain of the power couple. The film features interviews with their children Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill and Desi Arnaz Jr., Gregg Oppenheimer (son of I Love Lucy creator-producer-head writer Jess Oppenheimer), and actresses Bette Midler, Carol Burnett, and Linda Purl to name a few.

I give LUCY AND DESI a 9 out of 10. The film is a great summation of how these two trailblazers completely changed Hollywood. You’ll learn so much about their relationship, their mentorship, and their business moves that still have an effect to this day.

Amazon Studios’ LUCY AND DESI’ is available today on Prime Video.

-Jon Jones

Photo: Cover photo by Library of Congress

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