We all know the best way to get couch potatoes to turn off their television sets and head out to a movie theatre is by putting their favorite TV shows up on the big screen. How else can you explain a summer of Get Smart, Sex and The City and The X-Files all in feature length?
Well, for a long time now there have been rumors of a Friends flick. Ever since the super successful NBC show ended in 2004, Hollywood hotshots have been trying to figure out a way to get its stars to reunite. The whispers of a movie have come and gone every year, until finally last weekend the internet was abuzz with the news that all six cast members had signed on and the movie was a go. Fans rejoiced! Everything was right in the world! Until Warner Bros., the studio that owns the rights to Friends, issued a statement saying only idiots believe what they read on the internet (I’m paraphrasing) and no Friends movie was in the works.
Well, I can’t take it anymore so I’ve scheduled a meeting with Warner Bros. brass to get to the bottom of this. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna blow it. I’m just gonna ask them: why? If Hollywood can make a movie out of a crummy show like The Dukes Of Hazzard, why can’t we get those Friends kids together? For god’s sake, the Disney people turned one of their freakin’ rides into a blockbuster franchise. (See: Pirates of the Caribbean).
How hard can this be? It’s not like the cast — except for maybe Jennifer Aniston — is busy. Sure, a few of the friends have since starred in their own television shows, but none of those shows made it past a second season (Joey, Dirt, The Comeback). (To be fair, I thought Lisa Kudrow’s brilliant Comeback was only guilty of being too nuanced for TV. It was HBO — maybe she should have whacked someone?)
Only Aniston seems to motivate people to buy tickets to her movies (The Break-Up, Rumor Has It), but she gets more attention for the string of guys she’s gone through since her divorce from the Man Whose Name Is Not Spoken By Friends. She isn’t exactly wowing the critics, either, although her work in the upcoming He’s Just Not That Into You might change this. I’ve seen the previews and, gee, the movie looks like it will be great — for 11-year-old girls. (Seriously, when I saw the cast of this movie, which includes Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and Ginnifer Goodwin, I thought, “Do all of these women owe their agents a favor?”)
Let’s not even talk about Matthew Perry’s film choices. As Chandler Bing might say, could they be any cheesier? Perry fared better on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but that show, too, ran for only one season.
It just makes sense that these six actors should reunite and do what they do best. Friends wasn’t only popular, it was nominated for eleven billion television awards and won something like seven thousand Emmys. (True fact: Everyone in the cast was repeatedly nominated for Emmys, except Courteney Cox, who was never nominated on her own, which must have been very awkward at those ceremonies.)
Another thing to consider: the show appealed to everyone — girls who wanted Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel to get back together, anyone in lust with Matt Le Blanc, guys who tuned in to see the invariable Aniston nipple in each episode. (Fact #2: Aniston’s nipples were featured so prominently, they eventually had their own billing in the show’s credits. OK, that’s a lie, but if they did, then on The Episode After Courteney Cox Got Married, they could have added the “Arquette” to their name, too, in solidarity with the rest of the cast.)
The gays, too, would find fun in a Friends film. The show was a groundbreaker in its portrayal of lesbians and other LGBT people, including Carol, Ross’s ex-wife and the mother of his child, and her partner Susan. We also got to hear about and finally meet Chandler’s dad, a gay man who hosts a drag show in Vegas (played, cleverly, by Kathleen Turner.)
Look, I want this movie to happen and I want it to be great so I even took the time to jot down some bullet points, ideas for the success of the film and its mass marketing. To wit:
—Give Jennifer Aniston a distinct new haircut so ladies worldwide will ask their stylists to do the same. (Because for a while there, even school bus drivers had that Rachel shag).
—Bring back Marcel! I thought man-monkey buddy television died with B.J. and The Bear until Ross brought home little Marcel. Do I need to hammer home the point about successful Hollywood movies featuring monkeys? In his artistic days, Clint Eastwood made movies with monkeys that delighted the whole family. (See: Every Which Way But Loose, sequels.)
—Insert animated versions of the dinosaurs Ross studies into the movie and its previews. Dinosaurs are even bigger now than they were in the Jurassic Park ‘90s. Also: dinosaurs bring in the toddler set, a demographic Friends sort of alienates.
—Keep up those cameos, but blatantly update the stars to today’s big shots like Seth Rogen and Angelina Jolie. No, wait. Sweet Jesus, not her. How about Miley Cyrus? As Rachel’s cousin! Yes! Can you say “tweens”?
—(OMG. How will we do this movie without a laugh track?)
—Dude! A tie-in with Starbucks. Has any other show ever had such a love affair with the java? Who? Gilmore Girls? Well, they aren’t making a movie yet. For now, two words: Friends blend.
—Finally, Aniston’s boobs. Like, everywhere.
—What can I say? I have fond memories of Friends. I recently watched so many repeats of the show while staying at my dad’s house, he would walk through the living room and absent-mindedly clap his hands during the appropriate parts of the theme song. He’s 66. Why am I telling you this?
Let Warner Bros. know we’re Friends For Life. Give me more suggestions for Warner Bros and I’ll take those to my meeting, too. Let’s make the Friends flick — when and if it ever happens — the biggest, best blockbuster of them all.