The newest Will Ferrell comedy, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga co-starring Rachel McAdams, was released exclusively on Netflix June 26, 2020. This witty parody of the famous 60+ year old European singer/songwriter competition features many spectacular cameos of previous Eurovision winners.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a parody of the extremely popular European singer/songwriter contest. The movie follows Lars Ericksong (Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (McAdams) on their ill-fated journey. Ferrel provides his own vocals, while McAdams vocals are blended with Swedish singer Molly Sandén.
In typical Ferrell tradition, Lars Ericksong is a “young” man chasing his dreams while being extremely immature on his quest. McAdams plays Ferrel’s songwriting partner and star-crossed love interest Sigrit. The parody follows all the ill-fated adventures that Lars Eriksong and Sigrit Ericksdottir have to entering the Eurovision contest and full-filling their dreams.
Although Lars Eriksong appears to be the immature character with his head in the clouds, Sigrit is also painted as a dreamer. In an attempt to poke fun of the Scandinavian cultures and heritages that contain stories and references to trolls, elves, and dwarfs. In the film, Sigrit is seen appealing to elves at small doors in the countryside. She offers food and drink in return for the elves assistance in getting into, and even perhaps winning, the Eurovision contest.
As the plot continues, 11 of the 12 Icelandic contestants die in a tragic boating accident making Fire Saga (Ferrell and McAdams) the country’s only hope for Eurovision. As their dreams are slowly being realized, Lars and Sigrit face many challenges on the way to the contest.
The film includes cameos from previous Eurovision winners performing their winning songs. It also features Demi Lovato as the ill-fated Katjiana, Iceland’s sure-fire win. After her untimely death, she appears to Lars several times to give warnings about troubles brewing for Fire Saga.
What is Eurovision, you ask? Imagine American Idol… on steroids. Started in 1956, participants from countries in Europe would submit an original song into a continental competition. The same song is performed over and over until a winner is crowned. Voting is a two-tiered system. Delegates from countries voted and there is a popular vote.
Will Ferrell and Andrew Steel share co-writer credits for this parody. Iceland native Atli Örvarsson composed the original tracks for the film — a nice touch to the overall message.
Overall, I’d give the film a solid 4 out 5. While the music was enjoyable and it was a nice touch to add actual Eurovision contests and winners, the film felt really slow at points. And whether it was meant to add to the comedy of the film or not, the age difference between McAdams and Ferrell (11 years) was problematic for me.