Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga


Why they’re here is anyone’s guess…

Main Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams

Director: David Dobkin

I don’t know about other people, but there are times when I really just want to turn off my brain and enjoy something silly.  These days it happens a lot. And my preferred form of silly is Will Ferrell. Ever since Old School and Step Brothers, he has been my go-to for brain free entertainment.  He doesn’t let me down very often.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is vintage Ferrell. He stars with Rachel McAdams as an Icelandic band (named Fire Saga of course) hell bent on going to Eurovision.  Lars (Ferrell) and Sigrit (McAdams) have known each other since childhood and have relentlessly pursued their dream, despite the disapproval of Lars’s father (Pierce Brosnan) and Sigrit’s mother (Elin Petersdóttir)…and everyone for whom they disastrously perform. Lars has big dreams and his stage gimmicks tend to go badly wrong. The pair is at their best when playing for their friends and family in their small hometown of Húsavík.

A series of unfortunate events land Lars and Sigrit on the path to their dream, but there are obstacles on this path and the duo needs to confront their greatest fears and ultimate desires (oh my God that sentence is so corny and so fitting for this movie).

First and foremost, this is not a movie with any pertinent, timely, or relevant social statements. Don’t make it more than it is. It is filled with clichés and overacting and flamboyant sets and riffs on the excess that is the annual Eurovision contest. It is, as I had hoped, a combination of Blades of Glory and a Christopher Guest movie. Ferrell is a silly man-child; McAdams is a beautiful, goofy dork. Dan Stevens plays the Russian Eurovision entrant – Alexander – who sparks some tension between Lars and Sigrit. They all have fun with their roles and it shows. The rest of the cast is either an over the top Eurovision performer or a Húsavík townsperson. There is absolutely nothing surprising about the plot, it’s just there to hang the silliness on.

And I enjoyed that silliness! The opening music video is absurd and awesome, as are several of the other musical numbers. I enjoyed the send-up of Eurovision, and the ridiculousness of Lars and Sigrit. If anything I would have liked more time with the other Eurovision contestants in all their glorious excess. The costumes are also great fun, from the small town crazy clothes of Sigrit and Lars at home to the wild outfits of Eurovision. And the music isn’t bad – it’s far better than I was expecting and infinitely more entertaining.  The characters are light and the story is slight, but there is some good brain candy fun to be had in Eurovision Song Contest.  Don’t spend your time looking for things that aren’t there, just enjoy it for what it is – a goofy comedy with some fun music that just might make you laugh at a time when laughs can be hard to come by. If you don’t like Will Ferrell don’t bother. But if you do? Have some fun, you deserve it.

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