Most Eurovision fans were eagerly awaiting Will Ferrell’s new comedy, which focuses on two Icelandic singers trying to fulfil the dream of winning the iconic competition. Does the movie live up to it’s expectations? Kinda…
The Good: The film has some cracking cameos from some of Eurovision’s fan favourites, who appear in a cheesy, Pitch Perfect-esque mash-up. It also has plenty of Eurovision staples; key changes, great set design, questionable costumes and Graham Norton. It also has some incredibly catchy tunes, which were brought to life with the help of songwriter Savan Kotecha, who writes for Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding and Demi Lovato (the latter who appears in the film as an Icelandic pop-star). The cast is also pretty impressive; Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan, to name but a few. Additionally, there is a cracking duo in the form of real-life siblings Jamie and Natasia Demetriou, who provide belly laughs whenever they pop up on the screen (but, then again, I might be biased on that one, as would any fans of Channel 4’s Stath Lets Flats).
The Not-So-Good: When you watch a Will Ferrell film, you know you’re going to get a ton of stereotypes, but it gets tiring quickly with CGI whales jumping out at the Icelandic coastline, as well as a barrage of jokes that Iceland are the butt of, few that actually land.
As a Scot, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the Edinburgh setting. Firstly, there are several jokes on how every other country hates the UK, yet, the UK must have done something right, because the competition takes place in Edinburgh, and as Eurovision fans are well aware, whoever wins Eurovision hosts the next one. Secondly, I know that movies can take liberties with settings, but as a Glaswegian who has studied and lived in Edinburgh, it was incredibly weird to see the SSE Hydro (a Glasgow venue) super-imposed at the bottom of one of Forrest Road. And, as if that wasn’t enough, one scene shows Will Ferrell’s character being schlepped around the city centre in ways that make no geographical sense, and it definitely pulled me out of the film. And, yes, I’m aware that my quibbles with the setting are petty and small, but considering the fact that Edinburgh is rarely showcased in Hollywood (or Netflix-wood) films, it would have been nice to see fewer liberties being taken.
Also, it was TWO HOURS LONG.
If You Liked This Film, You Might Like: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Sunshine on Leith (2013), Blades of Glory (2007).
Joe Blogs Film Rating: 3/5