"Friends: The Movie"? Could there BE a worse idea?
Hot on the Manolo Blahniks of the surprisingly successful (to we Y-chromosome types) "Sex and the City" movie, which made more money than any movie based on a recently retired TV show has any right to, London's Daily Mail is spewing this fevered nonsense about the possibility of — God help us — "Friends: The Movie."
According to "insiders," MailOnline says, "Cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer will reprise their roles for a big-screen adaptation 'within the next 18 months.'" The cast is in fact "eager" to revisit their quirky characters, a mysterious "source" tells the highly dubious British fish-wrapping. The idea has been "bandied" about since the show folded in 2004, and Aniston was apparently the one dragging her heels for a big-screen version. But she's now "keen" to get started, says the Mail's phantom fact-finagler.
Basically, take this news with a grain of salt. Whether or not the Mail's "sources" pan out, the idea of watching a movie based a show about six 20-something pals when two of them (Kudrow and Cox) are in their mid-40s (with the rest not far behind) kinda seems ridiculous. Not to mention how the format of "Friends" is totally incompatible with a big-screen treatment. At least "Sex and the City" had the benefit of already looking like a movie when it was on the air (thank you, HBO.) "Friends," on the other hand, was sitcom to the core: laugh-track, multiple cameras, sound stages and all. Wouldn't a feature film be too much of a tonal shift for fans to accept?
I mean, I liked "Friends" all right ... when I was in high school. But let's be fair: Those annoying twits overstayed their welcome by about 4 seasons. You couldn't have paid me to watch those later episodes — there's no way I'm going to pay to see a movie.
"Friends" Movie Pitch No. 1: "I Am Legend ... How You Doin'?" We open on a deserted and desolate New York City. The streets are dark, the buildings empty ... except for a solitary light emanating from a small, trendy coffee shop. It is here that our six heroes — the last living humans in Manhattan — have set up a makeshift fortress to protect themselves against the bloodthirsty mutant-vampire-zombies that roam the city at night. One by one the friends get picked off — in order of salary — until the dramatic conclusion, when Rachel must choose between sacrificing herself for the future of humanity, or giving herself a new haircut. (She ultimately goes with the new 'do.)
"Friends" Movie Pitch No. 2: "The One Where Ross Just Loses It" Let's face it: Ross has had to put up with a lot of crap. A good-natured shlub with a fairly short fuse, there has always been lurking within him the chance to one day SNAP and go on a rampage, a la Michael Douglas in "Falling Down." So when Rachel decides again that she wants to go on a break, Mr. Geller simply goes bugnuts. He straps on a couple AK-47s, a belt of hand grenades and a capuchin monkey and starts terrorizing the Lower East Side. After a week or so of bloody mayhem, he's captured by Homeland Security, sent to Guantanamo and held without trial.
"Friends" Movie Pitch No. 3: "The Friends Meet the Seinfeld Gang." In the tradition of great crossover movies like "The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones," this movie idea pretty much sells itself. Take the casts of the two most popular sitcoms of the past 20 years, and put them in a movie together! Jerry and Chandler could spend the whole time humorously over-inflecting their words; Kramer and Joey can have a crazy guy-off, and Elaine and Monica can stand within five feet of each other and explode from the force of their combined neuroses. I smell Oscar.
Got your own pitch for this stupid "Friends" movie? We'd love to hear them.
— Adam Reinhard, firstname.lastname@example.org