Review: Zach Galifianakis conducts awkward interviews with famous celebrities in ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’

Photo courtesy of IMDb

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

Zach Galifianakis is a comedic genius.

His new film, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” is a lovely play on a tired comedic bit that works splendidly for an 80 minute Netflix film. Galifianakis’ dry humor and wit are perfect for the new streaming generation.

To sit down and watch a movie based on a skit that ran on a website is perplexing, but at the same time, familiar. The world is filled with teenagers and young adults obsessed with social media, sitting for hours on end with Instagram and Twitter and, for whatever reason, TikTok.

The skit “Between Two Ferns” exists within this space, and it’s fascinating that Will Ferrell and his Funny or Die company have simply spliced ten interviews together, with transitions of Galifianakis being a really funny guy, into a movie.

The movie features prominent actors and pop culture icons alike. It opens with Galifianakis interviewing a bewildered Matthew McConaughey as a pipe leaks into a bucket onscreen.

As Galifianakis continues to insult and berate the popular movie star, the leak becomes stronger, eventually turning into a blown pipe that floods the studio, resulting in Galifianakis’s producer Caro (Lauren Lapkus) performing a rescue mission.

On a rescue mission of his own is Funny or Die-owning Will Ferrell. Ferrell agrees to bankroll a nightly show for Galifianakis if he is able to go on the road and complete ten interviews with celebrities within two weeks. Galifianakis then tricks his crew into this foolish road trip, as they SUV across the country with Galifianakis’ precious ferns.

The crew interviews celebrities such as Adam Scott, Chance the Rapper, Benedict Cumberbatch (Galifianakis just can’t get his name right) and hilariously John Legend. Someway or another, Galifianakis and Chrissy Teigen spend the night together after meeting in a bar, and Zach has to interview her husband John Legend the next day. Of course, this ends with Galifianakis on the floor writhing in pain, just as he does in some of his other movies.

The best sequence of the movie, though, has to be Zach’s interview with “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage. By this point, the crew is strapped for cash, so they proceed to steal Dinklage’s collection of Faberge Eggs. After the heist, Dinklage is unable to chase the perpetrators, resulting in some great comedy on his part while standing in his driveway.

This movie’s main concept, however, is a farce on the movie theme of friendship. It begins with a crew of misfits and ends with a band of tightly knit friends who happen to work together, but that story is not Galifianakis’ style. Instead, he finds ways to artfully, and crudely, attack the common trope.

Overall, this movie was really well done. The premise was new and exciting, a refreshing take in a time of social media dominance. Zach Galifianakis is truly delightful to watch onscreen; his humor and faux-awkwardness speak to a certain kind of person that I happen to fall into.

This isn’t a great movie, but not all movies have to be award-winners. That being said, it is a fun movie to watch with friends or a significant other, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone that likes the dry humor Galifianakis often employs.

P.S. The credits are the best part. If you don’t have time to watch 80 minutes of the movie — go watch the last three. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.