Here's a stat that may or may not blow your mind: According to Box Office Mojo, Sex and the City has grossed $312 million worldwide. Yup. $312,533,654 to be exact -- for a movie based on a hit HBO show that went off the air a few years ago. Since we all know what happens when Hollywood gets a look at those kinds of numbers, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict what the future holds: plenty more TV-to-movie adaptations. We're practically guaranteed another Sex and the City flick, and earlier today Monika brought us news that the long-rumored Friends movie might be moving forward.
Honestly, why wouldn't it move forward? You're telling me Matt Leblanc, whose last credit on IMDb is Joey, is holding out for a massive paycheck? Same goes for Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, with the latter being the only one getting decent big-screen work (though, truth be told, she's about two movies away from becoming yesterday's news). The others are all showing up in bit parts, directing films that don't go anywhere and/or trying desperately to make the TV thing work again. Fact is, together they're a pot of gold. Apart and, well, we don't really care, do we?
But could a re-emergence on the big screen revive these careers? Could they somehow find a way to take the cutesy sitcom and turn it into a feature film people would actually want to see? Could Friends: The Movie make more money at the box office than Sex and the City? And should we care? I don't care, that's for sure.
While I enjoyed the show when it was on the air, it ended in the right place and I couldn't care less what Rachel, Monika, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross are up to now. Oh, did someone get married? Divorced? Hit by a car? Fun! And how weird would it look to actually have the cast of Friends out amongst real people in a real city, and not on the same four sets? Honestly, I don't even think people could handle it. Are Monika and Rachel REALLY shopping on Madison Avenue??? Are there REALLY black people drinking coffee in Central Perk??? Say it ain't so?
Yes, I understand so many of you adore this show and love it with all your heart and soul -- and that's cute; seriously, it is. But you have to admit this isn't going to work on the big screen. A Thanksgiving special? Sure. Crank up the laugh track and bring them all back for a nice, hour-long reunion. But when you take away the laugh track and place these characters in a very real environment, are people going to buy it?
It worked for Sex and the City because the show never had a laugh track and was shot on location in NYC. To me, a Friends movie would be like producing an Everybody Loves Raymond movie, or a King of Queens movie ... it would just look and feel weird.* Sometimes we, as consumers of all things TV and film, need to let go of beloved properties. I think it's time to let go of Friends.
*And don't even come back at me with The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, The Honeymooners, Car 54, Where Are You or The Beverly Hillbillies because those movies sucked. Do not use those as an example of this sort of thing working, please.