For those unfamiliar, “Between Two Ferns” is an interview show from the comedy video website Funny Or Die, a project co-founded by Will Ferrell. Hosted by Zach Galifianakis, the show featured awkward interviews with celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Cardi B, and even former President Barack Obama. Written and directed by Scott Aukerman, Between Two Ferns: The Movie is a fictionalized spin-off of the series.
Zach Galifianakis (himself) is interviewing Matthew McConaughey (himself) when a water leak causes the studio at a public access cable network to flood, killing the actor, though he is later revived thanks to medics. An angry Will Ferrell (also himself) sends Galifianakis to record ten more celebrities interviews with the promise of getting a late-night comedy show if he succeeds. Setting off with his loyal assistant Carol (Lauren Lapkus), his cameraman Cameron “Cam” Campbell (Ryan Gaul), and microphone expert “Boom Boom” De Laurentis (Jiavani Linayao), he lands interviews with some of Hollywood’s most popular celebrities so he can score his dream job as a documentary team follows him.
I use to watch the original “Between Two Ferns” and I always loved to watch Galifianakis make his guests squirm with his awkward, cringy, and often outright bizarre questions. Honestly, that made this movie somewhat of a disappointment. While some of the interview questions were a little weird, they were not really that funny or even cringy. Only Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tessa Thompson had interviews that were funny, albeit mostly poking fun at their MCU roles.
The story-arc is interesting and also had some well-timed comedic moments, including an awkward exchange between Galifianakis and John Legend over his supermodel wife Chrissy Teigen. However, the movie was downright mediocre. A laugh here and there, a chuckle at an actor parodying themselves, or a slight smile and a raised eyebrow at an awkward moment, but it does no go behind that. The three funniest moments were a brief exchange with Adam Scott that poked fun at his role in Parks and Recreation, Gal Gadot‘s way too short cameo, and the blooper reel at the end. Alas, that is where the real comedy begins… with the end.
Ironically enough, mediocrity seemed to be a theme throughout the movie. Zach is tired of what he considers a mediocre program. Numerous jokes are made at Ferrell’s expense over his “has been” career. Lauren Lapkus’s character is a terrible trumpet player. So, it should come as no surprise that the film comes off a bit mediocre.
Bottom line, the movie has several funny moments, but overall it is just one celeb cameo after another with a few humorous anecdotes, but a killer blooper reel at the end. Fans of the original web show will enjoy it, but newcomers may be a bit confused about what is going on.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong Foul language (including sexual references)
FAVORITE QUOTE: I want people to laugh with me, not at me!
Check out the trailer below:
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