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Hollywood Insider Eurovision Song Contest Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Iceland

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.

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Eurovision: Fun Cast led by the Winning Combo of Ferrell and McAdams

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams are two unlikely puzzle pieces that actually work, allowing this odd-couple to perfectly win you over as the wannabe Eurovision champions.

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.

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McAdams is the MVP here. Not exactly famous for her comedic chops, the actress has impeccable timing as the optimistic Sigrid who shines brighter than anyone else, and that’s saying something in a film full of bright colors and eccentric characters. She shouldn’t stand out since she’s the most simplistic and human of all the performers, yet that’s exactly why. In a movie filled with cartoonish performances, McAdams is perfectly suited to keep the story anchored with vulnerability and angelic attitude, keeping you engaged.

Supporting roles in Pierce Brosnan, Melissanthi Mahut, and Demi Lovato add firepower to a film full of fireworks.

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.

Every song between Farrell and McAdams is infectious, with “Double Trouble,” “Jaja Ding Dong,” and their cover of Pharrell Williams “Happy” ranging from dance-worthy jams to powerhouse performances.

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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.

By Merrick Sinclair

Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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Author

  • Merrick Sinclair is a film journalist with a passion for cinema, Hollywood and filmmaking since a young age. Merrick focuses on reviews and features here at Hollywood Insider, and takes careful thought as to the impact cinema has on culture and what that means for us. Whether they be old or new, blockbuster or independent, Merrick understands the role movies have on society and how each individual has their own unique experience with movies. Merrick hopes to unpack his observations with clarity for readers while allowing them to walk away with their own opinions on any given topic.

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