Galifianakis’ talk show film more awkward than funny

An advertisement for Netflix’s new film, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie”, features fonts reminiscent of the title screen of the “Flappy Bird” video game. The film is now streaming on Netflix. (photo courtesy of

   Zach Galifianakis’ awkward talk-show, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie”, made its way to Netflix in the form of a movie on Sept. 20.

The talk show features top-tier guests such as Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Aniston and even Barack Obama. Like the show, the movie’s cast also includes big celebrity names including Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves and Peter Dinklage.

The movie is essentially just Galifianakis asking celebrities horribly  awkward, inappropriate and weird questions. “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” then transitions to Galifianakis and his guest taking friendly, but funny, jabs at each other. 

Galifianakis said in a Variety magazine interview, “I don’t want to hurt [the guests], but I do want to make them feel weird.”

The plot of the movie is simple. It’s a fake documentary of the television show with Galifianakis traveling across the country and making ten new “Between Two Ferns” episodes for his boss, Will Ferrell. 

By doing this, Galifianakis can restore his reputation as a talk show host and land his own major talk show produced by Ferrell. 

Like Galifianakis, Ferrell is acting as a different version of himself. In this movie, he’s an executive for the Funny or Die company and apparently only loves money, cocaine and purple feather boas.

Galifianakis is acting as a satirical version of himself throughout the movie. His clumsiness nearly causes the destruction of the “Between Two Ferns” studio and nearly  kills Matthew McConaughey. Because of this, he is forced to travel across the country to restore his reputation.

There’s plenty of jokes about Galifianakis’ weight, and he gets involved in a bizarre love triangle with, arguably, the most popular celebrity couple, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. However, when they go to Dinklage’s house to do a show, Galifianakis and his crew find something that could make them all rich: a book. 

They get the interview with Dinklage before attempting to steal “The Winds of Winter”, the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin, which fans have been waiting for years to finally be released.

The storyline and cast getting from point A to point B is somewhat strange and hard to keep track of — but it would be hard to imagine that Galifianakis wanted it to be any other way. 

The movie, like Galifianakis and the show, is purposefully awkward. It’s almost refreshing to watch a movie that has no  purpose other than to make the audience laugh, even if it fails in half of the attempts.

Overall, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is funny, but like the online show, it’s best to watch it in small increments rather than all at once. 

It’s a movie that should be watched while studying or cleaning. It’s not a movie to devote an hour and a half to, or to plan a schedule around. There are plenty of funny scenes, but there are also plenty of scenes that miss the mark. It almost makes fans of the “Between Two Ferns” show wonder what the point in making a movie was.

“Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is now available to stream on Netflix and is rated TV-MA.

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