Whether we welcome it with open arms or try our hardest to shun it, celebrity culture pervades everyday life. Through the rise of platforms like Twitter and Instagram, the gap between celebrities and average folks has narrowed, strengthening the illusion that these millionaire stars are just like us. Perhaps it is this very superficial connection that allows “Between Two Ferns,” which is essentially an hour-long roast of A-list stars hosted by Zach Galifianakis, to find its audience. Though Galifianakis’s niche humor is a bizarre mix of silly and abrasive and the film’s plot is painfully elementary, if we fully embrace the absurdity we may laugh more than we expect to.
It seems pointless to even provide a synopsis for this movie because the relevance of the “story” is minimal. Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover”) plays a wacky, corporate-controlled talking head who dreams of hosting his own show one day. When business tycoon Will Ferrell (“Blades of Glory”) offers Galifianakis a chance to turn his dream into a reality, Galifianakis and his equally peculiar crew drive across the country to complete a series of celebrity interviews under a time crunch. If this sounds nonsensical, that’s because it is. Filled with foolishness and lacking pacing, “Between Two Ferns” watches as more of a “Saturday Night Live” skit or a Netflix comedy special than an actual film.
It is questionable whether this spectacle can even be deemed a “movie” because it is so unconventional in its strong emphasis on comedy and disregard for plotline. The film targets a distinct it’s unlikely that Galifianakis’s goofiness will peak your interest.
In terms of quality, “Between Two Ferns” is missing a variety of important elements like engaging cinematography, a memorable score and genuine character development. Though director Scott Aukerman makes it quite clear from the start that “Between Two Ferns” is not meant to follow any sort of conventional structure, the lack of traditional movie features is frustrating for any audience member wanting more than just snippets of celebrities being insulted in interviews.
Despite its narrow intended audience, “Between Two Ferns” is not the worst option if you’re looking for an addition to a late-night Netflix binge. The sheer ridiculousness of the plotline and level of overall awkwardness throughout are enough to make anyone crack a few smiles. However, if you are looking to watch something substantial, you are definitely better off scrolling past Aukerman’s latest flick.