Parents' Guide to

Being the Ricardos

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Behind-the-scenes drama falls short; strong language.

Movie R 2021 125 minutes
Being the Ricardos Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

Surprisingly great film with a superb dramatic ending that finishes the movie off in a nice way. This movie is obviously meant for adults, and should not be viewed by kids.
age 15+

Entertaining + Insight into TV's "Golden Age"

A great film about a glimpse into the lives of real-life actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Families that like learning about all things old Hollywood will really enjoy this film. The occurrences of the film are framed within a hectic production week of shooting an episode of "I Love Lucy" at the same time that some personal scandals erupt and threaten to effect the success of the show. Though there is language and 2 sensual scenes early on, mature kids that are really into the history of Hollywood (and who love a good Drama) will enjoy this one.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Sorkin tries to bring viewers into the behind-the-scenes world of I Love Lucy, but overall this drama comes off as an expensive but flat look at an iconic power couple. Ball and Arnaz are up against a wall of controversy in Being the Ricardos thanks to Hollywood gossip linking Ball to communism and Arnaz to infidelity. And Sorkin is clearly interested in dissecting the politics and personal drama that went on behind the scenes of one of America's most popular shows. But it's lacking.

At worst, Being the Ricardos feels like Sorkin putting his Sorkin-isms into overdrive, including moments with the kind of circular, wordy dialogue that only serves Sorkin's sense of his own intelligence. And the way the characters are used feels a bit like what you see in Wes Anderson productions: They're like dolls for Sorkin to position and make talk, not true explorations of the people they're based on. Yes, as a whole, the cast does an impressive job, with Kidman and Bardem nailing Ball and Arnaz's voices and mannerisms (which helps to sell the illusion more than their looks actually do). But even with good actors giving their all, the film never rises above the Sorkin tropes, which makes it feel more tired than it should.

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