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The Internet Is Going Bonkers Over Will Ferrell's New Movie

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest might have been canceled, but Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Netflix's spoof on the beloved international competition, is more than making up for it. 

The Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams-led comedy is inspired by the actual annual contest that sees at least 50 countries (primarily countries across Europe, though Australia has been a contestant since 2015) submit an original song and then compete on the international stage. In Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, after a boat accident kills their country's chosen representatives, small-town Icelandic singers Lars Erickssong (Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdóttir (McAdams) must overcome both a slew of scheming competitors and their own fears to prove their place on the Eurovision stage. Directed by Wedding Crashers' helmer David Dobkin and co-written by Ferrell and Andrew Steele, the two-hour film also stars Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Demi Lovato, and The Great's Jamie Demetriou

Critics have delivered mixed reviews of the new Netflix movie, giving it a 62 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes – with some celebrating its silly sincerity and others blasting it for pacing and humor issues. While critics may be split, audiences have taken to Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga much more positively, giving it an 80 percent RT audience score on top of making it the most-streamed title on Netflix over its opening weekend in multiple regions (via Uproxx). 

Comedy icon Ferrell's more recent work has been somewhat hit or miss, while McAdams' resume mostly boasts romances and dramas — save for 2018's unexpected hit Game Night. And yet, Eurovision Song Contest has practically stolen the digital release show, with viewers excitedly sharing their love on social media for the musical and comedic frenzy's leading duo and its soundtrack. 

Viewers love Eurovision Song Contest's connection to the real-life competition

Fun fact: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was made in cooperation with the real-life Eurovision organization, and was initially slated to release around this year's competition before being canceled for the first time in six decades. A parody of the event that doesn't pull any nasty punches, Eurovision Song Contest has been called a "rare work of movie branding that manages to both mock and honor its subject," by The Atlantic critic David Sims. It appears director Dobkin's ability to straddle that line through kitsch campiness and a catchy soundtrack is ultimately what's made the film so successful. 

"I've had time to digest Eurovision... Anyone that knows me knows I don't like Will Ferrell movies AT ALL, yes... not even Elf... but I kinda loved the cheesiness in this one," Twitter user @jmespino wrote. "Also, the music is fantastic, and the Euro cameos were GREAT." 

Many are calling it a hilarious and heartwarming tribute to the Eurovision tradition — a combination that's paying off. "I can't believe we live in a timeline where a song from the Eurovision movie (Husavik) is in the Top 5 on UK iTunes, a Eurovision song is still in the Top 40 after going viral on TikTok, and the Eurovision movie is number 1 on Netflix countries across Europe and USA + Australia!" Twitter user @EscDannyj tweeted.

Social media posts make clear that the film's success among domestic and international audiences is due to its broad appeal. Eurovision Song Contest is entertaining hardcore Eurovision fans, those who are only familiar with the quirky and earnest event through viral clips and social media memes, and people who had never even heard of Eurovision until now.

"So we watched #EurovisionMovie, and now we're [...] deep into watching Eurovision recordings on YouTube," @Missus_Meatball tweeted. "I never even knew Eurovision existed and... it's honestly all I've needed in my life. Fantastic. Thank you, Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams." 

Despite critics, viewers are heaping praise on the film's homage to Eurovision's distinct musical culture

The response to Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga hasn't been all positive, with some viewers pointing out pacing issues and a few bad jokes. The most interesting critiques, however, have been lodged at the film's authenticity and representation. Several people on social media have honed in on issues around the movie being shot in Scotland. One Twitter user stated that "the most unbelievable part of the new Will Ferrell Eurovision film (a movie with Elves and a traffic-free Edinburgh) is that for Scotland to host, the UK must have won it the previous year." Another user challenged the film on which countries it represented and which ones it left out, claiming that the "Eurovision film has erased Ireland from song contest history."

Though some have disliked the movie playing fast and loose with national independence, others are loving it. "#Eurovision movie was soo good,"@SuzDowson73 wrote. "Everything I wanted from a film about Eurovision. Loved that it was hosted in Scotland (has a future independent Scotland won Eurovision?)." 

Eurovision Song Contest's ability to celebrate not just the competition but also its original music and real Eurovision contestants was a particular high point for audiences. One user, tweeting about a musical number filled with cameos, said on Twitter, "When you're awake at 6am and all you can think about is THAT medley!" 

Meanwhile, @GhostChannels wrote, "Not joking, that hometown song from that Eurovision movie is a bop that should be on par with Let It Go or Shallow." 

Above and beyond its surprisingly good performances and awesome soundtrack, the movie's ability to deliver unbridled joy appears to be its greatest accomplishment. "The Will Ferrell Eurovision movie on Netflix is actually good," @burghbird tweeted. "It's silly and completely mindless and it's what everyone needs right now to just watch and enjoy without being consumed by the weight of the world."

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is available to stream on Netflix right now.