Zach Galifianakis is back at it again with another take of his hit parody celebrity interview show, “Between Two Ferns,” only this time he’s taking it directly to your living room. Partnering with Netflix, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” has been a much-anticipated film from fans and viewers of the popular web series. With its release on September 20, the reviews all over the internet have begun to pour in. After viewing it myself, I found that the movie falls flat to the web series that has preceded it.
“Between Two Ferns,” was originally made popular on the website funnyordie.com, where Galifianakis holds a brief interview with a famous celebrity by asking uncomfortable and unexpected questions. With its very dry humor, one can’t help but find Hollywood’s biggest names squirming in their seat a little amusing. While the intent is never to humiliate or intentionally disrespect any of the guests, Galifianakis said in an interview that the satire that surrounds the show is meant to remind viewers that at the end of the day, celebrities, famous people and the like are humans, too.
The movie is a documentary style film with a crew and a camera following Galifianakis wherever he goes. He hosts the not-so-famous show Between Two Ferns, where, like the online show, it consists of him interviewing various celebrities. For the film, the show is made to be unsuccessful, with Galifianakis acting as the laughingstock of the company that airs the show. Most of the film takes place on the road, with Galifianakis, the ferns and his three odd ball companions (Lauren Lapkus, Ryan Gaul and Jiavani Linayao) acting as the main characters. The purpose of the road trip is to score ten interviews in two weeks and return to Hollywood by the deadline to achieve his lifelong goal of having his own talk show.
Unfortunately, the interviews scored are less focused on, slightly rushed and a bit strained, leaving the viewer with more time to focus on the storyline and dialogue of the characters outside of the interviews. I found that both the dialogue and storyline were boring. With the run time being only 82 minutes, I felt that I was forcing myself through it to the end.
The various celebrities throughout the film were pleasant and easy to watch on screen. While some of the questions and humor felt forced, I found that the rest remained true to what one could find on the original series. I have seen Galifianakis in various movies and have always thought that his performance and humor were great. However, after watching this movie, I found myself feeling indifferent. While his dry humor was matched with his usual touch of awkwardness, I felt that his “character” was presented as cold and uncomfortable, almost unrecognizable in that sense.
Although the interviews were parodies, I couldn’t help but feel bad for some of the interviewees. I found myself saying out loud, “This should not be a movie.” For those that are fans of both Galifianakis and the original “Between Two Ferns” series, you might find an appreciation of the film that I could not find. Because I didn’t watch any of the online episodes until after the movie, I feel that maybe I just didn’t understand the humor to truly appreciate it. If you have a Netflix subscription or can bum off a friend, I recommend at least giving the movie a chance. However, don’t go in with too many expectations or you might be disappointed.