Being the Ricardos: the 10 best quotes from the movie


A lot has been said about Aaron Sorkin Being the Ricardos before its release in December 2021. Featured as a slice of life, a week-long view of the production of an episode of I love lucy Instead of a lifetime biopic of the acting couple, many wondered how Aaron Sorkin would fare, both with the story and the cast.

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But the movie has so much action in its description of the week-long production of the episode “Fred and Ethel Fight,” as well as flashbacks and flash-forwards, and it’s packed with what Rotten Tomatoes calls the ” spitfire dialogue ”by Aaron Sorkin. for a fascinating and fun watch.


When Madelyn describes the relationship between Lucy and Desi

“It was Lucy and Desi, so they were ripping each other’s heads or ripping each other’s clothes.”

Alia Shawkat as Madelyn Pugh in Being the Ricardos

The very beginning of the film is a mock documentary style scene involving older versions of the I love lucy staff writers put the start of the production week at the center of the film – a week that would end with many more obstacles than just producing the episode.

Writer Madelyn Pugh delivers this line, but it really wasn’t news to anyone. Lucy and Desi’s hot and cold relationship was widely known. Not only did the cast and crew have to deal with two stars instead of one, but the stars were a real couple. Real life fueled the show’s production, storylines, and dialogue, which in turn fueled the couples’ real-life issues.

When the famous grape trampling scene was born

“Lucy in a vat of grapes for five minutes.”

Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos in Famous Grape Trampling Scene

While mostly dealing with the episode of the week in particular, the writers also invariably discuss ideas for other episodes, paying special attention to some that will become the most popular, most notably the favorite “Lucy’s Italian Movie”. from season five.

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With the help of the stars, the story turns into a trip to Italy for Ricky to perform at a concert. Lucy also delivers a movie about a cellar. Seeking to do some research, she goes to a cellar where the grapes are trampled. After losing an earring, Lucy spends five minutes in a vat of grapes, demonstrating a level of physical comedy that only Lucille Ball could achieve.

When Lucy mentions Jess Oppenheimer’s best piece of writing

“No, it’s still Vitameatavegamin.”

Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Vitameatavegamin scene from Being the Ricardos

After executive producer and chief screenwriter Jess Oppenheimer gives Lucy a brief, exclamatory pep talk preparing her to face prosecution after the Communist Party story was published in the newspapers, he retorts that the speech might be the best thing he ever wrote. Lucy responds playfully and slyly with this quote.

Of course, Lucy was referring to her work on the classic season one episode of the hard-to-pronounce drug that Lucy touts in a TV commercial. Unaware that the concoction contains alcohol, Lucy’s publicity gets a bit out of hand. The comedy that follows makes it truly one of the best episodes written, as Lucy attests.

When William insulted Vivian

“And when can we expect you to be funny?” “

Fred and Ethel in Being the Ricardos

This is one of the many excellent excavations by William Frawley, who played Fred on I love lucy, to Vivian Vance, who played Ethel, during the film. Fred and Ethel’s toxic relationship was well known on set and in town, and the film left no darker details, including his intoxication, the intended friendliness of his character, his age, weight, and talent. They were always after each other.

Choosing to shoot the film during “Fred and Ethel Fight” production week was perfect as their ongoing real-life feud was really brought out in the script. Their dry wits when insulting each other only made it all the more delicious. The fact that the feud between Fred and Ethel during I love lucy never showed up on camera is shocking, and a true testament to their acting prowess.

When Lucy was told that a pregnant woman couldn’t be on TV

“You can’t have a pregnant woman on TV! “


The second issue that emerged in an already hectic week of production was the couple’s news that Lucy was pregnant. There were only a few weeks they could work before they had to try to hide the pregnancy. The executives were convinced that they could hide the pregnancy with laundry baskets and furniture.

But the couple came up with the idea of ​​writing pregnancy for the show, something that had never happened before on television. Dismayed, CBS executive Howard Wenke delivers this line in disbelief. The other executives, lawyers and sponsors present in the room readily agree. In fact, they feel uncomfortable even talking about her pregnancy. Ultimately, a superior sided with the powerful couple and the episode happened the following season. This is just one of the ways I love lucy was a revolutionary sitcom from the 1950s.

When Lucy had had enough

“If I hit him in the face until he bleeds, does our insurance cover that?” “

Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos

Throughout the week of production, Lucy continually runs into trouble with a young director whom she has “little confidence”. The tension becomes more and more palpable, especially as Lucy struggles with the dinner scene and takes it upon herself to find a solution.

Lucy delivers this line in a low voice to Desi as the fight with the director comes to a head. She stops production several times to concentrate on the stage, while the director defends himself. Chaos ensues and a pause is called, but Lucy’s status as more than just the lead actress is solidified.

When Lucy was accused of being a communist

“I’m not a Communist. I’ve never been a Communist. But technically, yes, I am.”

Nicole Kidman in Being the RIcardos

The first issue that tries to taunt the production is the Sunday night radio host’s accusation that Lucille Ball was a member of the Communist Party. This news was the subject of the Monday morning table reading and management meeting and reflected the environment in Hollywood at the time.

When Lucy is asked point blank by the leaders whether or not she is a Communist, her answer leaves them even more confused. She explains that she was raised in part by her grandfather, who was interested in workers’ rights. In her twenties, she honored him by checking “Communist Party” on a voter card, which brought her before the House Un-American Activities Committee, but was later cleared by the committee and the FBI.

When Vivian Vance lashes out at Lucy

“It could be worse. You could play Ethel.”

Although Ethel’s Lucy and Vivian Vance had a good working relationship, their roles sometimes caused tension. Vance, who was younger and prettier than her character was supposed to be, wore older clothes to downplay her good looks. Lucy would have felt that there was only room for one beautiful woman on the show.

In the movie, there is a scene where Vance’s weight loss is called into question, with Lucy joking that she must have been at the weight she was hired for. Vance also complained that Ethel was the butt of an ongoing joke about his weight, one of the worst jokes on I love lucy who has aged badly, and that she is not pretty enough for Fred. When Lucy opened up about all the issues she had faced that week, Vance closed her with this terse response.

When Lucy knew she was funny

“I’m Lucille Ball. When I’m funny, you’ll know it.”

Nicole Kidman as Lucy onstage in Being the Ricardos

Twice, at the start of the movie, people mistake Lucy’s biting sarcasm for comedy by asking if she’s funny. It seemed her reaction to an uncomfortable situation was to make a joke. Supported with even more sarcasm, Lucy returns with this self-confident but well-deserved response.

RELATED: The 10 Best Lucille Ball TV Moments Ranked

But Lucy was often funny. Her funny side, dry, quick-witted and on her feet, coupled with her incomparable physical comedy, is what made her a genius. She could tell a joke with her eyes, with her arms, or with an awkward fall.

When Desi delivers this iconic line

“Lucy, I’m home.”


Perhaps the most memorable quote from I love lucy is delivered by Desi’s Ricky Ricardo in almost every episode. He laughs every time he announces his arrival because the audience knows he often finds himself in the last of Lucy’s situations.

Throughout the film there is the recurring theme of Lucy wanting a home. Although she owned three houses, Lucy really wanted a house where her husband would stay instead of going out and doing things reported in the tabloids. During the live performance in front of a studio audience, Desi delivers the line which stops Lucy in her tracks and it occurs to her that she has a home. It might not be exactly the house she had planned, but she had made one anyway.

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