Reviewed by Marna Owen
Eurovision Song Contest, The Story of Fire Saga tells the tale of the first Icelandic rock group to compete in Eurovision. Unlike the fictional Fire Saga, Eurovision is an actual event that’s been going on since 1956. It’s sort of a multi national American Idol. The contest has a reputation for being over the top and campy, but as with Idol, it can also be a catapult to fame for the most popular artists.
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play the lead singers of Fire Saga. The band typically spends its Saturday nights in their small town’s pub singing Ya Ya, Ding Dong over and over at the crowd’s requests. (Ya Ya is the Icelandic Macarena, written just for this movie.) Fire Saga has bigger dreams, of course, and through a series of unlikely events—and the influence of elves—the band makes it to the Eurovision finals in a quest for validation and fame.
If you decide to watch it, don’t expect consistently smart humor. Ferrell’s done better. You might want to pour yourself a glass or two of wine, or smoke a spliff if that’s your thing, to enhance the comedic experience. Ferrell’s willingness to play an utterly lovable fool may be enough to keep you in your seat, but the pot is sweetened with sumptuous Icelandic and British scenery, Pierce Brosnan as Ferrell’s disapproving dad, and even some good singing acts.
To be honest, it took me two sittings to finish this movie. But finish it I did, because it made me laugh, and laughter was just what the doctor ordered after a day of watching the news.
If you don’t want to commit that much time but still want a laugh, check out Ferrell in one of his in one of his most famous SNL skits, More Cowbell.