Panny-D 2020. Somewhere north of Glasgow. My family and I have been in lockdown since March. For the most part, tensions during the day have stayed relatively low. We luckily have enough space to disappear and completely forget everyone else exists.
We have however had times that have tested the very framework of our family, pushed our mutual love and respect to its breaking point, and created more gender divisions than Germaine Greer. All of which have occurred during our traditional Saturday night film. Anyone who has successfully achieved a unanimous decision on film night is worthy of a peace prize because my lord it is tough. Someone always falls asleep halfway through, or goes on a chocolate hunt and never returns. The residual moans about the terrible choices almost always carry on well into the next week.
It takes a very special kind of film to unite the clan in enjoyment and inspire so much lively discussion. If 2020 has taught us anything its that literally anything is possible. As fate would have it, the film to bring my family and many others together was a Will Ferrell Eurovision parody. Tis’ just how the celestial cookie has crumbled this year.
This film has been absolutely slammed by critics, who in all fairness probably would have lost all journalistic credibility if they dared praise anything as kitschy and glittery as this. However, unsurprisingly it’s been a massive crowd-pleaser. Perhaps in our months at home, we’ve learned to just appreciate a good laugh, regardless of the source.
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play the Eurovision Icelandic hopefuls in this truly bizarre but wonderful tribute to Europe’s second-greatest union. The ‘Fire Saga’ duo is stuck playing ditties in their local pub, but never stop dreaming of the bright lights of Eurovision. After a series of slapstick mishaps involving Demi Lovato and an exploding boat, the pair becomes Iceland’s entry. The competition is held in Edinburgh in a blatant foreshadowing of the benefits of Scotland’s potential independence (all subject to your political persuasion of course.)
Underneath the catchy songs, glittering spandex and colourful cardigans, the story is much more tender than was expected. Lars and Sigrid are naturally seduced by the moderate fame and blinding lights of showbiz. However, their psychosexual relationship is threatened by the metrosexual Russian pop star Alexander Lemtov, played hilariously by Dan Stevens who looks very comfortable with his post-Downton leather pants and George Michael haircut.
I realise any attempt to argue that Will Ferrel’s films are imbued with any moral meaning, would be in vain. However, much of the film’s charm comes from showing love and pride of one’s country in its purest form, completely stripped from politics, prejudices and any hint of Brexit. The lazy American clichés are also a bonus.
Like Mamma Mia 2 before it, each song has bop potential and never fails to be musically rousing. The entire experience seems like the love child of ABBA fanaticism and an acid trip, which apparently is a winning combination because it absolutely works for me.
Image Credit: IMDb