REVIEW: ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ is All About the Awkward

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Between Two Ferns: The Movie, the Netflix Original movie, is directed by Scott Aukerman, and produced by Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah and Caitlin Daley, Aukerman, and Galifianakis. Between Two Ferns started as a satirical web show on Funny Or Die featuring host Zach Galifianakis conducting awkward interviews with celebrities. Now, the series is back in a mockumentary style movie that follows Galifianakis as he does celebrity interviews on Public Access Television. His goal is to eventually have his own late-night talk show on network television. While filming in the humble town of Flinch, NC, Will Ferrell discovers the show and uploads it to Funny Or Die, making Galifianakis a viral hit and the laughing stock of the internet.

However, after Galifianakis’s studio sustains major structural damage thanks to a pipe burst, Ferrell is upset, worried about getting clicks on his site. Ferrell demands new episodes of Between Two Ferns but without a functioning studio, Galifianakis and his crew have to go on a road trip to interview more celebrity guests and attempt to restore his reputation.

After lying to his crew, Carol (Lauren Lapkus), Cam (Ryan Gaul), and Boom Boom (Jiavani Linayao), about just how much Ferrell gave them for their new adventure, Galifianakis finds himself strapped for cash. He tries to manage an apathetic film crew and the unruly team filming the documentary while on his quest to continue making episodes. The team gets creative in the cross country road trip to LA, trying to make money through unconventional means. 

Between Two Ferns: The Movie is chock-full of celebrity cameos from Keanu Reeves, Brie Larson, David Letterman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and many more. The movie does have a plot and features quite a few moments between Galifianakis and his crew but the best moments of the movie are during the awkward interviews. There are moments where the plot clearly bogs down the movie. The pacing at times feels incredibly slow because of this. I just wanted to get back to what I always loved about Between Two Ferns, the interviews. Additionally, as charming as the crew is, the movie attempts to create emotional beats that just don’t land in the mockumentary style. 

That being said, Between Two Ferns: The Movie is still incredibly hilarious and perfectly encapsulates the awkward humor and use of second-hand embarrassment that made the original Funny Or Die series so good. The mockumentary style works well and allows Galifianakis and Ferrell to shine while playing caricatures of themselves, similar to what Keanu Reeves did in Always Be My Maybe. Additionally, the celebrity cameos all feel genuine, particularly Matthew McConaughey’s performance which features him nearly drowning after the studio pipes explode. 

Fans of the original web series as well as fans of comedy mockumentaries, such as The Office and Parks and Recreation, will enjoy Between Two Ferns: The Movie. The awkward interviews between Galifianakis and the various celebrities featured are the highlight of the movie and also more than likely what viewers are tuning in for. 

Between Two Ferns: The Movie is streaming now on Netflix.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie
  • 7/10
    Between Two Ferns: The Movie - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Fans of the original web series as well as fans of comedy mockumentaries, such as The Office and Parks and Recreation, will enjoy Between Two Ferns: The Movie. The awkward interviews between Galifianakis and the various celebrities featured are the highlight of the movie and also more than likely what viewers are tuning in for.