What a delightful breath of fresh air this new Netflix comedy felt like after the crop of bad movies seen lately. I was beginning to lose faith in the media! Then out of nowhere this musical comedy gem comes along. It is both a spoof as well as tribute to the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play childhood friends living in a small seaside town in Iceland who had lived their lives dreaming of winning the Eurovision Song Contest for their country. The inspiration happened in 1974 when ABBA won the contest singing Waterloo, when they were just young kids. Their big break finally comes in 2020 due to a series of incredible events which landed them representing Iceland.
The entire movie is played tongue in cheek but yet it still manages to convey a sense of romance, adventure and family and national pride in the process. The songs are catchy and presented in the typical exaggerated and commercial style of Eurovision songs. The movie manages to capture the glamour, and excitement of Eurovision while pooking fun at itself. The musical numbers were all very well staged including is one particular stand out sequence in the midway point which featured a medley of familiar songs sung by several past winners and contestants. This musical number was so wonderful it reminded me of some of the best moments of The Greatest Showman.
The film was very well casted and even though Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams may seem like they are too old for the part they were perfectly matched. Dan Stevens was wonderful as a super cool looking, smooth talking Russian singer trying to woe Rachel McAdams, while Pierce Brosnan gave a quietly hilarious performance as the disapproving father to Will Farrell. This was obviously a labour of love for Farrell as I note that he not only had a hand in writing the original story but also was one of the producers. I have never been a particular fan of his work but I think this is easily one of his best to date. Another amazing thing is that Farrell and McAdams actually sang the songs in the movie themselves abate with some technical help with fine tuning their voices, and the end result is they sounded great!
This is definitely one of my favourite movies of the year and one that I would gladly watch again and again. Hopefully you too will enjoy this perfect piece of escapism.