Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) surprised me

Will Ferrell has had a pretty bad run in recent years. Most of his films are a little dumb, but they often are funny and good popcorn entertainment. The new Netflix original, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020), fits that criteria completely. Rachel McAdams has proven time and time again that she’s one of the best actresses working, regardless of the role or the type of movie she’s in. Her comedic chops paired with Ferrell made this film a super fun movie, with solid music and some chuckles. 

Lars Erickssong (Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (McAdams) are the lead singers of the band Fire Saga, and they have big dreams to be selected to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest. However, they can’t even get selected into the Iceland part of the competition…until this year, through a lucky circumstance which leads them on the path to fulfill their dream.

Dan Stevens keeps making it clear that he needs more respect from Hollywood. Every role he gets, he proves he has the ability to be a leading man…with the exception being that mediocre Disney live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (2017). Here, he plays the role of a male rival to Lars, as he is an established Russian pop singer – Alexander Lemtov – who exudes masculinity. He takes an interest in Sigrit, but that’s one of the things about this film that subverts expectations. In many comedies, there would be a huge rivalry, and it would become obnoxious. Here, it’s just a minor element that lends itself to funny moments. 

One of the parts that really works and reminds of the riff-off in Pitch Perfect was a medley of songs at a party held by Alexander. Initially, Lars and Sigrit were not sure they fit in – but once they arrive, they are treated like all the other contestants. It is yet another refreshing element that breaks the genre tropes of the underdog story. Almost no one mistreats them, and the negative comments that come are often just treated as fact rather than cruel rumblings. The one exception falls to a very personal issue with Lars and his father, played by Pierce Brosnan. There is conflict – some genuine, and other red herrings to mock other versions of this story – but it ultimately works. 

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is entertaining, and came at the best time. Netflix has a lot of duds…but when one lands, it’s worth noting. If you are looking for a good laugh with some entertaining pop music – dumb and pointless, but entertaining – then it’s worth checking out. Eurovision earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating. 

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