Photo: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their conference call with young leaders from around the Commonwealth. Courtesy of: The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Though we can’t see new films in theaters (yet), the streaming world is still doing it’s best to entertain and give us new content to eat up from the comfort of our own homes. Sure they aren’t all A+ releases, but they can be incredibly fun.
Take Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga: a fun parody on musical competitions with a refreshing focus on a real-world competition in an inspiring way while on the other hand, the film may lag at moments with some dud comedic moments, balancing out another smooth watch that likely wouldn’t have made a huge box office smash.
Eurovision: Fun Cast led by the Winning Combo of Ferrell and McAdams
Farrell has made millions (probably billions at this point) by playing the loveable man-child who has been a bum his whole life and is still innocent. He continues to do this but with an Icelandic accent and look, and honestly, I can dig it.
Farrell’s Lars is a lot smarter in comparison to his past roles, so even with that man-child aspect, it’s strangely more realistic and relatable. We see a man obsessed with his one dream of success and is blinded by the world that continues on without him. He’s not stupid or immature per se, but a normal guy full of pride who won’t take failure as an answer and is forced to learn to be selfless.
But Dan Stevens is the only contender for MVP outside of McAdams as the boisterous Russian heavy-weight Alexander Lemtov who oozes charisma and charm, the complete opposite of his turn as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Stevens never disappoints, and he gives it his all in this film like he does all others.
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Eurovision – Loving Jests and Powerful Moments
Despite the clear parody, director David Dobkin isn’t trying to make fun of the famed contest (though let’s be honest, Eurovision does like to go over the top), but instead, he threads the story of bringing nations together. There is respect for every nation while lovingly jesting at the competition, the music competition industry in general, and the unique cultural characteristics of many nations worldwide.
There is a clear love for music and the fun craziness that comes with it, yet the story has a balance of humor and hopefulness that uplifts the soul.
Though the film would have been better at an hour and forty-five minutes, there are quite a few moments in which you want to cheer or even cry joyfully for the characters overcoming their struggles. The fact that those moments prove that the film succeeds in making you care about what happens (plus the musical aspect makes it easier to connect).
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Replay That Music For Days
When you bill a film as a musical, you’d better make good on that advertisement. Thankfully, Netflix killed the musical part of Eurovision. The catchy songs paired with memorable characters was the most enjoyable part of the two-hour run-time and is why I was able to smoothly make my way through.
Farrell has always been musically talented, but this is the first film to truly put that front and center while McAdams’ talented voice is blended with Swedish singer Molly Sandén to bring a unique sound to the stage.
The costumes, choreography, and overall production seems way too big for a straight to service film (but then again, it wasn’t supposed to be) and that’s what makes it so fun. It’s rare to see an original streaming film to feel so cinematic but this truly stands above the rest from sheer production value.
And finally, to top it all off, you’ve got “Lion Of Love,” and Demi Lovato bringing it with “In the Mirror,” tying together a musical-parody film that competes with the best of them.
Eurovision can suffer from runtime and overabundance on color over substance, but it makes up for it with a refreshing duo, catchy tunes, and warmhearted story that both respects nations worldwide but churns out great jokes off of them too.
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