Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga review – too timid for satire | Film

Not so much a comedy, more a strained, movie-length featuremercial for the Eurovision Song Contest brand, hung on a plot borrowed from The Producers, and originally planned to coincide with the now cancelled Eurovision 2020. Will Ferrell is phoning it in as co-writer and co-star, playing opposite Rachel McAdams, who though an estimable performer is not a natural comic.

Ferrell and McAdams play Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir from Iceland, of all the uproariously uncool Eurovision-contestant countries, who are a tragically awful pop double act called Fire Saga and yearn to be their nation’s official entry. Against the odds, Lars and Sigrit get their shot at glory.

It’s a strange, tonally misfiring movie. There are some nice gags and the idea that Lars and Sigrit’s relationship is psychosexually arrested in a creepy quasi-sibling state is funny. But basically we can never really laugh at them because they’re supposed to be sympathetic and relatable, so the script pulls its punches. Moreover, we can never really laugh at Eurovision itself, because Eurovision clearly has some corporate say in the film, and in any case Ferrell has clearly understood that mocking the event is the wrong call these days: the correct approach is celebratory affection.

We get the mandatory reference to Abba, some appearances by real-life Eurovision stars and the prominently featured Eurovision logo. The cameo from Graham Norton, playing himself as a Eurovision commentator, is odd: he is shown making barbs about Fire Saga that would be humorous if he was teasing a real singing act, but these singers are a scripted fiction and so are his remarks. The movie is not a disaster, just weirdly pointless.

Source: The Guardian

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