Another week, another round of celebrity pantomimes, this time a biopic prime for Amazon, not theatres. Lucy (Nicole Kidman) loved logic, a trait that clearly did not find a home in writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s final cut. The pampered superstar couldn’t find a washing machine in a Maytag showroom. What would prompt her to suddenly do a couple of loads of laundry? Try an incriminating lipstick-stained handkerchief Sorkin planted in Desi’s (Javier Bardem) pocket in need of making its way into Lucy’s hands. According to the script, William Frawley (J. K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) were basically the same stumblebums on screen as off. Sorkin adds depth by coloring Frawley a proud lush and Vance the victim of a boss who kept her fat and frumpy lest a fickle audience begin to chant, “We love Ethel.” Those looking for a barn-burning expose will find the source of the disappointment lurking in the closing credits, the card that reads: Produced by Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. The kids cop to mom and dad’s sexual proclivities and little else. (2021) — Scott Marks
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