Monday, June 29, 2020

Sorry Americans, But You Just Won’t Understand This Hilarious Movie

You can be excused if you saw the Netflix film “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” and found the plot to be totally ridiculous. How could there ever be an international song competition with singers who care more about their outlandish appearance than about performing memorable songs?

But Eurovision really exists and this movie accurately presents the glitzy fanfare. As silly as it looks and sounds, Eurovision is serious stuff. After all, the competition introduced the world to Abba and Celine Dion. Broadcast all across Europe and elsewhere around the world, Eurovision is one of the most watched non-sporting events and attracts hundreds of millions of viewers.

Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams), competing on behalf of Iceland as the Fire Saga duo, are so stupidly innocent that you can’t help but love them. Ferrell's comedy is usually a bit much for me, but this time with his acting, singing and writing he nails it just right. He apparently was introduced to Eurovision by his Swedish wife and became fascinated with the competition.

Diehard Eurovision fans will relate to the actual Eurovision contestants from recent years who make cameo appearances, and sing, in the film. Netta (Israel), Alexander Ryback (Norway), Conchita Wurst (Austria), Salvador Sobral (Portugal) and Loreen (Sweden) may not be household names elsewhere, but in the Eurovision world, they are highly revered.

Do Eurovision contestants dress up like Vikings? Yes! Do they wear shiny leotards and get lifted miraculously off the stage? Yes! Do they sport full beards and yet show off the fanciest evening gowns? Absolutely! This is all part of the Eurovision magic.

Staged extravagantly every year by the European Broadcasting Union member countries since 1956, the 2020 competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That's a shame but at least in a time when we need upbeat, hilarious, totally ridiculous shows most we can sit back and watch Eurovision and Fire Saga. Let the show begin!

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