It was recently announced that Cate Blanchett would be taking on the role of iconic comedic actress Lucille Ball, who starred in “I Love Lucy” from 1951 to 1957 with real-life husband Desi Arnaz, in an upcoming biopic. Famed screenplay writer Aaron Sorkin, whose credits include The Social Network and Steve Jobs, is tasked with writing the script. The biopic also has backing from Ball’s children, Lucie Arnaz Jr. and Desi Arnaz Jr. who may add additional insight into thier mother’s private life.
The 1991 Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter received a 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Lucy, the most recent attempt in 2003, was reviewed by The New York Times with the headline: “Lucy, a Woman Wronged.” This upcoming movie may be the best Lucille Ball biopic to date, which heavily focuses on her marriage to Desi Arnaz and “I Love Lucy” fame. Sorkin and Blanchett can only provide a glimpse of the magic of “I Love Lucy” and the show’s true impact on entertainment and popular culture.
As a self-proclaimed movie buff, I have always enjoyed watching movies from the early to mid-twentieth century. However, I did not stumble upon “I Love Lucy” on TV or online. Instead, the show has been a shared viewing experience for my family. My grandma watched every Monday night and she introduced the show to my mom through TV Land reruns. My mom kept the tradition going and did the same thing for my brother and me. It is one of the few TV shows that we can sit and watch together, since we all have different tastes (and a Netflix account).
So you may be asking, why “I Love Lucy?” Even though the show first aired over 60 years ago, the “I Love Lucy” humor is timeless. The interaction between the Ricardos and their neighbors, and best friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz, shows the still relatable humor in everyday life. A few scenarios include when Lucy is trying to prove her marriage is not out of the honeymoon phase or when the men and women have a contest to see who can avoid gossiping.
“I Love Lucy” was filmed in front of a live studio audience, so it is fun to see how the actors recover from bloopers. For instance, some of Ricky’s humorous mispronunciations were really Arnaz flubbing his lines. Fun fact: “I Love Lucy” was also the first TV show to use a three-camera format.
Many people would agree that one of the funniest scenes of this TV show is when Ricky does drills to prepare for the impending birth of their child, but falls into hysterics, bumping into everyone and speaking in Spanish when Lucy announces, “This is it.” Ball is considered one of the most talented physical comedians of all time, whether she is stomping grapes or wrapping chocolates on a conveyor belt.
Aside from the humor, it is interesting to see the different social customs, such as dressing, dancing or smoking cigarettes. In 2015, with movies like 50 Shades of Grey, there is something funny about watching a married couple wearing plaid pajamas while sleeping in twin beds separated by a nightstand.
If you could not tell by now, for these reasons and many more, “I Love Lucy” is both a great source of entertainment and social commentary that any TV fan could appreciate.