Being The Ricardos: Fans confused by ‘surprisingly unappealing’ trailer for film about Lucille Ball

The first teaser trailer of Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos was released on 19 October amid much anticipation but has prompted mixed reactions online.

Starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as both on-screen and off-screen couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Being The Ricardos chronicles the tumultuous relationship of the stars of hit Fifties sitcom I Love Lucy.

Ball and Arnaz eloped in 1940 and worked on the comedy show from 1951 till 1957, before divorcing each other in 1960.

The new film follows the actors during one week of filming I Love Lucy — from a Monday table read to a Friday shoot — while the couple navigates crises and challenges that threaten their relationship and careers. It also reportedly deals with the theme of racism; Arnaz was discriminated against for being Cuban and Ball had defended his right to be on the show.

Kidman had earlier said the show is “about Lucy and Desi and their relationship and their marriage”.

“It’s very deep”, the actor had told Variety.

However, online reactions to the trailer have been largely underwhelming.

US entertainment journalist Scott Menzel tweeted: “We are all in agreement that BEING THE RICARDOS looks surprisingly unappealing right? Also, why is Nicole Kidman narrating a trailer about Lucille Ball? Yes, I know she’s playing Lucy but she sounds nothing like Lucy.”

One user wrote: “The Being The Ricardos trailer gives me no hope that the movie will be worth watching.”

Some on social media pointed out that Kidman’s face is barely visible in the one-minute trailer, making it difficult to appreciate her transformation into the I Love Lucy star.

Another user said: “Being the Ricardos trailer trying to not show Nicole looking completely miscast”.

Yet another said: “Between this Halloween store wig, this being the only shot of Nicole Kidman’s face in the trailer, and no attempt to sound like Lucille Ball or Desi Arnaz, Being the Ricardos sounds like a winner.”

Speaking to Variety earlier this year, Kidman said she was focussed on getting Ball’s speech patterns absolutely right. At the time, she said: “I’ve had to put in an enormous amount of time on Lucille Ball right now, because she has a very particular way of speaking.”

Defending Kidman’s acting chops and versatality, Australian film critic Jenny Cooney tweeted: “Can’t wait to see our favourite chameleon take on Lucille Ball!”

Fans also questioned the casting of the Lucy/Desi biopic. However, the couple’s daughter, Lucy Arnaz, who is also the executive producer of Being The Ricardos, responded to these reactions in a Facebook video in January and reiterated that the Sorkin film is not trying to remake the hit sitcom.

She said: “No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things. It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother—not Lucy Ricardo—and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad—not Ricky Ricardo.”

There were, of course, some Twitter users that were “actually impressed” by the trailer for the film which releases in cinemas on 10 December 2021. Being The Ricardos will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video on 21 December 2021.

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