The love just keeps coming for Lucy, with Amy Poehler paying homage to America’s favorite redhead in a new documentary, “Lucy and Desi.”
In the just-released trailer for “Lucy and Desi,” Poehler takes us inside the relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, from before they were stars to when they ruled the small screen. Using old home videos, clips from the “I Love Lucy” TV show and audio tape recordings, plus new interviews with Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and the couple’s daughter and son, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill and Desi Arnaz Jr., Poehler aims to show how their romance created one of the most iconic shows in television history.
“They are of the moment,” Poehler told Entertainment Weekly of the couple’s enduring appeal. “A woman and an immigrant who lived the American dream. A sexy power couple who lived and lived publicly. Two industry outsiders who pushed against gender stereotypes. A husband and wife with young children who have a lifetime of rupture and repair.”
The preview shows the challenges the couple faced in the entertainment industry, including accusations of communism during the height of McCarthyism and a recording of Ball saying that the network originally didn’t want the Cuban Arnaz to play her husband because they wanted “a real American couple.”
“[Arnaz] worked his way into rooms where few Latino men were allowed to enter,” Poehler said in her interview with EW. “His contribution to the show and to the success of Lucy and Desi is often minimized, when in fact he was an incredible innovator and business leader. And maybe most importantly, the character of Ricky represented a new way of looking at a Cuban-American in the 1950s.”
You can watch the trailer here:
“Lucy and Desi” will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video on March 4.
This film isn’t Poehler’s first time directing — she was behind the camera for Netflix’s “Wine Country,” as well as episodes of “Parks and Recreation” — but it is her first time tackling a documentary. Explaining her process to The Hollywood Reporter, Poehler said she focused on the emotional connection between Lucy and Desi rather than a straight history or list of their accomplishments.
“If it becomes something that’s about what people did, rather than what people felt, then sometimes I’m not as interested,” Poehler told THR. “Even if they climbed Mount Everest, you know? I have to feel something, and Desi and Lucy were such big, emotional, incredible feelers.”
In other recent dives into the Lucy and Desi archives, Nicole Kidman earned an Oscar nomination for best actress for her portrayal of Ball in the 2021 Aaron Sorkin film “Being the Ricardos” last week, and the TCM documentary podcast “The Plot Thickens: Lucy” focuses on Ball for its third season.
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