Ever since he was a young boy Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) has wanted to win the Eurovision Song Contest with his friend Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) and thanks to a mishap featuring the Icelandic contingent for this years contest they have the opportunity of fulfilling their dream.
A love letter to Eurovision, an event that I find so tedious I have not knowingly watched any of it for over twenty years was not something I thought I would want to see, but with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in the leads I thought it would be worth a watch. Ferrell plays his usual man-baby that he nailed so spectacularly in Step Brothers and McAdams commits completely to the woman he seems blissfully unaware is devoted to him. There is a recurring joke about the fact that Pierce Brosnan may be both of their fathers rather than just Lars, his character name is of course Erick and plenty of disastrous performances of songs. It is of course all done with love given that the film is actually made in conjunction with the real show, Graham Norton pops up as the host of the event and there clearly are cameos of real contestants, although I did not recognise them in one of the films best scenes. A song off that mimics Pitch Perfects song battle features a medley of well known songs, our leads and a series of random singers who must be famous for being on the show given they show up no where else in the film.
The songs themselves are fine although I was not completely sure if they were supposed to be good or camp or both. But the absolute stand out is Dan Stevens as clearly closeted Russian entrant Alexander Lemtov who screams camp and whose dance routine for his song is hilarious.
At just over two hours long and featuring a lot of jokes that fall flat it is not going to suit everyone, but when the jokes land they are very funny.
Netflix latest original film is a mixed bag but sits firmly in the category of “perfectly fine comedies to pass the time to, but not seek out and watch multiple times”.