Between John C. Reilly’s Walk Hard and Russell Brand’s Get Him to the Greek, Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams show that a predictable formula can still make a quality film. In the end, Eurovision has so much heart and charm that its shortcomings are easily forgettable. Make no mistake about it, this is a great film.
From the mouths of legendary band Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing.” A common theme heavily entrenched in the first act of David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest. Lars Erickssong, played by the legend Will Ferrell, dreams of someday winning a spot on his favorite show Eurovision. Unfortunately, Lars is a laughingstock across his small town. Lars is widely considered to be the village idiot of sorts for ignoring the haters and never backing down on his dream.
While it might not be for everyone, there is a campiness about Eurovision Song Contest that I really enjoyed. Rachel McAdams is flat-out adorable and whether you like him or not, Will Ferrell puts in a very Will Ferrell performance. What worked in the film? What didn’t? How did the film grade out? Let’s take a look.
As it should be, Eurovision is all about Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. The chemistry between Ferrell (Lars) and McAdams (Sigrit) is dynamic. This is exemplified greatly during one of the film’s best moments during a tender moment between Lars and Sigrit. The two are awkwardly embracing while a boat with all the singers ironically die in a fire (saga) explosion. With Lars and Sigrit as the only group left standing (literally), they have officially accomplished their lifelong dream. A spot on the show singing contest, Eurovision.
The heart of this film is rooted in its soundtrack and luckily, it’s absolutely incredible
The songalong scene steals many of the same elements seen from Glee and 2012’s Pitch Perfect. While this might be a tired act to some, it’s handled so well and with so much love that it’s nearly impossible not to jump into the dance circle and let it all loose. The music is so good that the film becomes somewhat disappointing between numbers and the film attempts to take its characters seriously. The music is that good and matches the zaniness of the competition and its competitors.
The film also does an excellent job balancing the comedy and the forbidden romance between Lars and Sigrit. Even further, the film introduces some truly standout side characters. Pierce Brosnan shines as Erick Erickssong. I don’t think Brosnan’s character spoke more than 10 words during the entire film. Don’t be concerned though, the brutal stares from Brosnan towards Ferrell’s character speak a thousand words.
Meanwhile, Dan Stevens is hilarious as Alexander Lemtov
Lemtov provides some romantic tension between Lars and Sigrit as a potential love interest. But my surprise casting of the film has to be Graham Norton playing, well Graham Norton as the host. Amazing. The beautiful scenery of Iceland and Scotland also deserves a mention here. The landscapes are as stunning as the soundtrack in this film. If you ever wanted to visit these countries, you will absolutely have your flight booked and bags packed immediately after watching this film.
If you’re looking for in depth story telling or deep character building, obviously there is none to be found here. Anyone watching this film should know exactly what they’re in for: an absurdly bizarre musical romp including a soundtrack that shocking features way more bangers than I expected. While this is a very funny film, not all the jokes land. This should all be expected.
It’s also a very long film, running at a hefty 123 minutes. Eurovision Song Contest is a film that could have easily been chopped down to 90 minutes. The film really drags between second and third act. The good news? The grand finale is so good that it’s quickly forgiven.
Is it worth watching?
As you can see, there are way more positives about this movie than negatives. This is without a doubt a film worth watching. The performances by Will Ferrell and especially Rachel McAdams are noteworthy. Rachel McAdams is the real winner here. She’s a star and if you enjoy her as an actor, then this is a must watch. Even if you’re not a fan of Will Ferrell, the soundtrack is so good that I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a hilarious movie to watch. This is a feel good movie with a ton of heart and well worth your time.