What even is this movie? Is it supposed to be a parody? But a parody of what, Eurovision? Eurovision already is a parody. Is it supposed to be a comedy? It’s not funny. Unless you can laugh at basic prat-fall comedy. And why is this movie so freakin’ long? Why do I have to sit through two hours of this crap?
The story is quite basic. Childhood friends, Lars and Sigrit, spend their ordinary lives in a small town in Iceland dreaming about participating in the Eurovision song contest. All of a sudden they get a chance to perform in the Icelandic song contest, where they fail miserably (I guess their performance is supposed to be funny). After a freak accident involving all of Iceland’s top song talent, Lars and Sigrit are literally the only singers left in Iceland. So the Ministry of Culture (just a guess, I have no idea who these people are) have no choice but to submit this duo for Eurovision. We follow Lars and Sigrit through the whole prep process to the grand finale.
I have so many questions for the movie, some of which I’ve already asked, but there are plenty more left.
Who is this movie made for? Obviously, it’s made for Will Ferrell, it’s his longtime passion project. Apart from him, who in the States knows or cares about Eurovision? And if it’s not meant for Americans, then for who? Europeans? But Europeans actually know and care about Eurovision, so they would have no reason to watch this crap. Over here in Mother Russia we care a lot about Eurovision, and lemme tell you, the actual Eurovision contest is a much better comedy than this snooze-fest. Seriously, how could you turn a movie about a fun, colorful, ridiculous song contest into such a boring, empty experience? It looks like very little effort was put into making it, starting from the cardboard characters, to the generic dialogue, to mild intrigue and backstabbing, to the songs which are much better during the actual contest. The only stand-out song is the final one, but it’s not worth it sitting through two hours of this movie in order to get to the song.
Let’s talk about the acting, maybe? Do we have to? Will Ferrell continues his decline, both in terms of choosing projects and in terms of acting in them. He is way too old to be playing this character, and he looks and acts like an utter idiot. Maybe he could have pulled off this character 10-20 years ago, but not now. I suppose he did his own singing, not that it’s an accomplishment, really… But at least it’s something. Dan Stevens was quite good in the caricature Russian role. In fact, his character is the only semi-interesting character of the film, but I might be reading too much into him, especially his line “I’m not gay, I’m Russian. There are no gays in Russia”. And his accent work is really good, not over-the-top, like most fake Russian accents in movies.Finally, Rachel McAdams is the only saving grace of this garbage can fire of a movie. She is such an angel that I could watch her in almost anything. She infuses her character with so much heart, passion and warmth that it’s impossible to resist her charm. If only she didn’t look 20 years younger than Will Ferrell so that we could believe their relationship even a little bit.
I suppose what should have saved this movie are the songs, and the people who sing them. And that’s another problem. It’s so painfully obvious that Rachel is not doing her own singing that even when I want to believe her acting, I can’t because the dissonance between her actual voice and her singing voice is too great. The singing voice they used for Dan Stevens also didn’t work, but it didn’t matter as much. Too bad they wasted Demi Lovato on, essentially, a cameo.
All in all, this is not worth your time and energy, but at least it’s a Netflix movie so you don’t have to spend additional funds in order to watch it. Your time would be much better spent watching Blades of glory, an actual comedy about another ridiculous event – figure skating and a great Will Ferrell performance.