Will Ferrell movies are like pizza – When they’re good, they’re great. When they’re bad, they’re still pretty good.
His latest film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a Netflix exclusive that has been met with wishy-washy reviews. Some critics lauded it for its satire of the music industry and over-the-top antics while others shrugged it off with reviews that could be accurately summed up with an unenthusiastic “meh”.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga tells the tale of two small-town Icelandic musicians with dreams of advancing to the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual competition in which fans from around the world vote for their favorite song. Lars (Ferrell) has spent his entire life striving to become Iceland’s pick for the Eurovision Song Contest, each year failing as his stern father (Pierce Brosnan) grows more and more disappointed in his middle-aged son’s childish dreams.
Lars’ singing partner, Sigrit (Rachel McAdams), is the only person from their village who believes in his talent, hoping that he’ll finally reciprocate her love once he achieves his goal of international stardom. When their band Fire Saga is surprisingly selected to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest, the competition threatens to tear the duo apart. Also starring Demi Lovato and Dan Stevens, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a much better film than reviews may suggest.
For those in the U.S. who have never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest, the trailer for The Story of Fire Saga is easy to brush off as a wacky straight to streaming effort not unlike many of Adam Sandler’s recent Netflix films. It’s funny, but odd. With Downhill and Holmes & Watson failing to capture audiences like Step Brothers and Anchorman did, and a running time exceeding two-hours, it’s easy for most viewers to give Eurovision Song Contest a pass.
No, this film is no Talladega Nights, but it is still worthy a watch. Will Ferrell hits all of the expected “Will Ferrell” tropes and Rachel McAdams effortlessly portrays an innocent, sweet character whom you can’t help but love. However, to really enjoy the satire and gags that make this film entertaining, you must first become acquainted with the real Eurovision Song Contest.
I caught the Eurovision Song Contest live on TV in 2019 while in Oslo. For hours, my wife and I were glued to the screen, watching the roller coaster of emotions each group experienced as each Eurovision country cast their votes. The show itself was a wild ride and most of the songs are pleasant ear-worms that we still catch ourselves humming a year later.
Unsurprisingly, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga offers the same.
Directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) and penned Ferrell and Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live), Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a popcorn flick that’s worth your time, particularly if you take a minute to familiarize yourself with the catchy, yet sometimes crazy, music videos from prior Eurovision Song Contests. Here are a few of my favorite songs from 2019 to get you started:
Friend of a Friend by Lake Malawi, Czech Republic
Too Late for Love by John Lundvik, Sweden
Hatrio mun sigra by Hatari, Iceland
Spirit in the Sky by KEiiNO, Norway
Sister by S!sters, Germany
Zero Gravity by Kate Miller-Heidke, Australia
Arcade by Duncan Laurence, The Netherlands
What did you think of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga? Give us your spoiler-free feedback in the comments!
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