Rates: * * 1/2
Why Did I Watch It? It’s a new (ish) thing on Netflix!! And we are in lockdown.
Lars and Sigrit are an Icelandic brother and sister singing duo, whose dream is to perform at the Eurovision song contest. Sorry, they definitely AREN’T brother and sister. Probably. An unlikely series of events – an explosion, a scheming business tycoon, other shenanigans – gives them a shot at the prize, but will their own personal issues, and a couple of sexy distractions, keep them from glory?
This slackly paced Netflix film is a disappointingly unremarkable vehicle for it’s two talented stars. Where other creatives have used Netflix’s vast resources, and hands off style, to pursue ambituous passion projects, this Gary Sanchez production is a luke warm version of some much better film, circa 2003. All the elements are there, but there is no energy, no spark, nothing meme-worthy that you’ll be sending to your office mates the next day.
While the film doesn’t have that many laughs, it is more successful as an underdog story. Ferrell and, especially, McAdams, have charm to spare, and it is easy enough to root for them as they stumble through a series of calmatous stage performances (the slapstick parts of which, are the film’s funniest). One of my work colleagues told me that he found their final number, when they finally get things right, to be weirdly pretty emotional, and I could see what he meant. This is undoubtedly a side effect of Covid lockdown, everyone’s emotions are heightened, but it IS a very upbeat ending.
There are also some great costumes, and a fun party scene where a bunch of real Eurovision stars join in on a mega singalong medly of famous pop hits. But these odd bright moments do also underline how flat the rest of it is. Perhaps the best thing you can say about this film: it is mildly inoffensive, which definitely wasn’t what Will Ferrell used to shoot for..
Not, the worst thing I’ve seen this year, but probably the hardest one so far to write about. There’s really not that much to say.