The Quarantine Stream: ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is a Silly But Terrific Comedy

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a brand new sequence the place the /Movie group shares what they’ve been watching whereas social distancing through the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The FilmEurovision Track Contest: The Story of Fireplace Saga

The place You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: Two middle-aged Icelanders who’ve spent their whole lives decided to win the annual Eurovision Track Contest lastly get their probability to compete on the world stage.

Why It’s Important Viewing: Confession: I watched the trailer for Eurovision Track Contest: The Story of Fireplace Saga and thought the film could be unwatchable. The opinions have been combined to adverse total, and I used to be very near scripting this off eternally as one thing I’d by no means hassle to see.

However after encountering a wave of reward from a number of folks whose movie opinions I respect, I made a decision to place my disdain for the trailer apart and provides it a shot – and I used to be pleasantly stunned to study that Eurovision is likely one of the greatest mainstream comedies I’ve seen in an extended whereas.

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams are reunited with Wedding ceremony Crashers director David Dobkin right here, and the outcomes make me wish to see the three of them make a number of extra motion pictures collectively. McAdams is fantastic, elevating a barely underwritten position and bringing a profitable mixture of humor, wide-eyed marvel, and emotional maturity. Ferrell is principally simply doing a riff on the sorts of goofy characters we’ve seen him play earlier than, however having McAdams to bounce off makes that man-child schtick way more palatable than it could be in any other case.

Ferrell and Andrew Steele (Casa de mi Padre, A Lethal Adoption) wrote the script. Their earlier writing collaborations have been outright parodies, however I didn’t see this film as a satire of the real-life Eurovision as a lot as Ferrell and Steele paying loving homage to a contest that’s as ridiculous and outlandish as they’re. Whereas a few the movie’s songs are supposed to make you chortle (instance: Dan Stevens as a hunky Russian pop star singing about lions), many of the songs on this film aren’t meant as jokes, and plenty of of them are legit bangers. I used to be tangentially reminded of The Lonely Island’s Bash Brothers Netflix particular, in that each initiatives strike me as being born from a spot of real affection for his or her material as an alternative of “hey, right here’s a factor we will make enjoyable of.”

Does it matter that the subplot a few disapproving father and a creative son craving for his dad’s approval feels prefer it’s ripped straight out of Zoolander? Not likely! The entire movie feels formulaic by design – the strict buildings of actuality competitions and 100-plus years of film historical past have conditioned us with what to anticipate, and all of that gives a handy technique to meta-textually acknowledge a few of the story’s shortcomings. However the movie is constantly so rattling humorous and charming that none of these shortcomings are ever sufficient to deliver it down.

I haven’t seen each new launch of 2020 (I nonetheless must see Da 5 Bloods, The Invisible Man, and some different large ones), however shockingly, Eurovision is my favourite new film of the 12 months thus far. A part of it could be as a result of my spouse and I visited Iceland a few years in the past and this film superbly captures the breathtaking splendor of that nation, and a part of it could be as a result of we’ve been cooped up for months attributable to this pandemic. Regardless of the motive, Eurovision was precisely the correct film I wanted in my life in the mean time. Should you test it out, I hope it brings you as a lot pleasure because it did me.

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