Zach Galifianakis‘s comedy talk show in which he interviews celebrities by trading insults while sitting between two ferns has garnered a lot of love over the years. Now, Zach brings his award winning series to Netflix in the form of a feature-length film.
In Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Zach must gather up his crew and take his show, and his ferns, on the road to get ten high profile celebrity interviews and restore his reputation as a potential late night talk show host.
The film takes on a very simple premise with a very basic setup to kick off the story and get Zach Galifianakis on a road trip. From there the story remains very straightforward, Zach moves from location to location conducting interviews between two ferns as he does in the series. The sections of this movie where it’s essentially a Between Two Ferns segment are fantastic. They’re all very funny and garner a number of big laughs as a result of the jokes made both ways in the interviews. Definitely the highlights of the film.
Outside of these segments it’s a little rocky. In the first two thirds of the film the road-trip content is pretty light and there’s some good humour in there from the supporting cast. However, towards the end of the film it gets a little heavier in terms of focusing on some of that extra content that isn’t between two ferns, and it isn’t as entertaining. The jokes in these scenes aren’t as effective and just the overall story and character arcs aren’t as engaging. It really feels like is slows down towards the end and sort of fizzles out as oppose to going out with a big laugh.
Zach Galifianakis is great though, he is still a comedic genius when it comes to conducting these short form interviews. His effective style of humour is all over this film and extends to the supporting cast and guest appearances. Lauren Lapkus is the best of the supporting cast who aren’t playing themselves. She’s got some great comedic timing and contributes to a laugh here and there. For the most part the humour works, but as i mentioned, it’s pretty hit or miss outside the interviews.
The cameo appearances and interview subjects are all great. Whether it’s Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, Chance the Rapper, Rashida Jones or Tiffany Haddish they all contribute to the humour in their own ways. The back and forth they have with Zach makes for a number of funny interactions. They do something different with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen‘s presence in the film which is okay but a little too silly, even for this film.
In the end, where I do think that Between Two Ferns: The Movie is funny and does have some really good humour to keep the light story going… it would have been better as a series. I would have like to see just the interview portions of this film on their own as individual episodes without the connective story tying them all together. Although, there are some things in these interviews they could only do with this being a movie and it brings in a whole new audience, so I understand the decision and see the appeal.