BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE – Film Review

Zach Galifianakis dreamed of becoming a star. But when Will Ferrell discovered his public access TV show “Between Two Ferns” and uploaded it to Funny Or Die, Zach became a viral laughing stock. Now Zach and his crew are taking a road trip to complete a series of high-profile celebrity interviews and restore his reputation.

When it comes to films like Between Two Ferns: The Movie, you have to approach it a certain way. You can’t go into it expecting one of the greatest films of all time or anything like that, because if you do, you’re going to be let down terribly.

That’s not because it’s a comedy. Comedies are some of my favorite movies out there. The reason why you have to approach this movie carefully is because it is a certain type of comedy. It’s a slapstick parody comedy that follows a fictionalized Zach Galifianakis as he awkwardly interviews celebrities that also portray fictionalized versions of themselves.

Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Zach Galifianakis (right) in Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019).

Therefore, this film is not going to be for everyone and that is completely okay. A lot of people are going to watch Between Two Ferns and think it is absolutely awful and tiresome. But there are also going to be some people that watch it and manage to have a couple of laughs along the way, and that is exactly what happened with me during my viewing.

With a running time of only eighty-three minutes, there is only so much writer/director Scott Aukerman can do. It would be genuinely hard to make a film about Galifianakis goofing around for two hours or so and have it be consistently funny and engaging. With this tight and compact running time, nothing feels poorly paced or too slow.

All of the jokes come at you quickly and there is barely any time for stalling. There are some moments of course, and yes, when those moments happen they can be heavily boring, but for the most part, this is a constantly moving comedy. Thankfully, a large portion of the jokes do land.

There weren’t any jokes that genuinely made me bellylaugh or anything of the sort, but they did manage to make me chuckle and crack a smile. I just wish that the humor was a little bit stronger. It’s not the type of humor that makes you think about certain situations too deeply, but rather, it’s the type that is incredibly easy to understand with no thought behind it, making it almost too easily digestible.

But at the end of the day, this is a fun, enjoyable time. Yes, it absolutely has its problems. There are some boring moments, the humor isn’t out of this world funny, and it isn’t highly memorable, but if you’re looking for something to put on to take your mind off of things for a little bit, this should work.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie isn’t a gamechanger for comedy by any means, but it still has enough fun and games up its sleeve to make it an enjoyable watch.

Overall Grade: B-

MPAA Rating: TV-MA

Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Lauren Lapkus, Ryan Gaul, Jiavanni Linayao, Edi Patterson, Rekha Shankar, Mary Scheer, Mary Holland, Matt Besser, Phil Hendrie, Paul Rust, Hailee Steinfeld

Directed by: Scott Aukerman

Distributed by: Netflix

Release Date: September 20, 2019

Running Time: 83 minutes

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