Starring in “Friends” equals No Movie Career for You

friends.jpgI’ll come right out and admit it. I’m a guy in his 30’s and I liked the show Friends. There… I said it. Coming out of the closet it very liberating. I always thought that what made that show work so well (besides the often BRILLIANT writing) was the chemistry between the characters, and the perfect casting for them. Now, David Schwimmer is set to Direct the independent film “Run Fat Boy Run” (catchy title). But as good as the cast of Friends has been, the transition to the big screen has been bumpy at best.

There’s no real explanation for it. The stars of Friends are all quite talented, attractive and have big potential drawing power. But every film any of them have “starred” in has been a failure (on several levels). Have any theories as to why?

Let’s look at the track record of some of the more notable films shall we?

Jennifer Aniston:
She’s the One (1996)
Picture Perfect (1997)
‘Til There Was You (1997)
Object of My Affection, The (1998)
Office Space (1999) Probably the best film she appeared in… but it was just a smaller support role
Iron Giant, The (1999) Only did the voice… obviously
Rock Star (2001) Should have been a breakout role for her… but the movie was a disappointment
Good Girl, The (2002)
Bruce Almighty (2003) A great movie, but once again just a supporting role
Along Came Polly (2004)

Courteney Cox:
Masters of the Universe (1987) Yes, the HE-MAN movie with Dolph Lungren
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) Best movie she did, but just a supporting role
Scream Films (starting in 1996) Not bad films… but a relatively small role in all of them
Runner, The (1999) Ugg
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) What a mess this was

Lisa Kudrow:
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) I still have nightmares
Analyze This/Analyze That (1999) Small supporting role
Hanging Up (2000) Oh dear
Lucky Numbers (2000) A film with John Travolta. Wow this sucked
Marci X (2003) In theaters for about 15 minutes

Matt LeBlanc:
Ed (1996) With the baseball playing monkey. Ummm yeah.
Lost in Space (1998) Should have been a hit… but the movie missed
And that’s about it for Mr. LeBlanc

David Schwimmer:
Pallbearer, The (1996)
Kissing a Fool (1998)
Six Days Seven Nights (1998)
Apt Pupil (1998) Small role

Matthew Perry:
Fools Rush In (1997) Bad romantic Comedy
Three to Tango (1999) Bad Romantic Comedy
Serving Sara (2002) Bad Romantic Comedy (are we sensing a theme here?)
The Whole Nine Yards (2000) Easily the best film a Friends star has had a lead in

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15 thoughts on “Starring in “Friends” equals No Movie Career for You

  1. I guess switching from a sitcom to movies is difficult ‘cos they played exaggerated roles. And not to mention they have grown old. The cast for good popular movies nowadays are twenty-somethings.

  2. I’ve walked out of a theatre before.. strictly based on the level that: I’m not being entertained. That’s really what it boils down to. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching credits, the climax or the body of the movie, if you can’t take it, you can’t take it.

    I don’t need to stick around to the end of a gang-beating to *know* how much I could get hurt, because the fact remains, I’m gonna get hurt. I’m just sparing myself if I run away early (or use my superpowers, which can be risky).

    Now, yes, for a judgment call on the ENTIRE movie, then yes, you’d have to watch the ENTIRE thing. that makes sense. But if you don’t like it that’s final enough.

    Casting directors won’t let someone who SUCKS stick around and finish a HORRIBLE routine or song, they’ll just cut them off and say “thank you” and mumble “…you bloody suck…”. Sure they haven’t got the broad scope of that human’s potential, but they’ve got the ground work and that’s enough to know they’re garbage.

  3. So you dont like it. But dont go saying you walked out on it and now pretend to hate it.

    Now you backpedal and claim to have watched it after all. Interesting.

    Its still the best movie anyone from that show has been in.

    By the way, since you used to work at the WB can you get me one of those dartboards they use to cancel perfectly good and successful programs??

  4. Rodney, I did walk out of The Whole Nine Yards. I worked for WB at the time and it was a free advance screening. I had to leave. I couldn’t talk Perry doing Chandler for 1.5 hours. And when I did watch the whole movie years later, I had the same feelings towards the full length as I did the first 15 minutes. It shouldn’t take more than the first five minutes for someone to know if they like the feel, the flow and the acting in a flick or not. I didn’t. And I still don’t.

  5. Whole 9 Yards is genius. Loved Perry in that one. And it IS easily the best movie a “Friend” starred in. Whole 10 Yards isnt bad, but it isnt fantastic either. I enjoyed it. Thats all.

    I love it when people try to say they hate a film then claim that they watched the first 15 mins and left the theatre.

    I read a review from a woman claiming to be disgusted with Kidman’s role in Moulin Rouge because she plays a tawdry hooker. So offended that she left the theatre after the dance hall scene. Guess it pays to actually WATCH a movie before you pretend that you hate it.

    I have never walked out of a film before (or if I did it was so forgettable that it really doesnt matter) I have endured some serious crap. But at least I watched it to make sure it WAS crap.

  6. well…hmm, friends will go down in history as one of the most loved and memorable sitcom, of course the actors have much potential but whose to say they can’t come through in the future and perhaps they were held back with their commitment to friends and not really able to take part in big movies with big roles. now that they are free i guess we’ll have to wait and see… can everyone just forget that i ryhmed..geez umm, i liked jennifer aniston in the good girl and shes sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lucky to be married to BRAD PITT!! i’m just gonna stop there, i might sound like a loser teeny bopper if i continue…ahem

  7. Well, I dunno.. I would consider myself a successful actor if I was in half the number of movies, that were half as cool, half as often as the Friend’s stars.

  8. Actually, you missed at least one good flick for four of the six of them. David was in Breast Men, and unlike The Secret Cafe, I really liked him in it, and I also like his directing attempts. He shows promise in that field. Lisa was in a great little indy called The Opposite of Love in a supporting role that gained her critical praise. I liked her in it. Not one shred of quirkiness to be found, and it was such a change for her that I almost found her Phoebe demeaning to her as an actress, expect that Phoebe gets all the great lines in Friends. Courtney, well, what can I say, she really is a tv actress. ‘Nuff said there. Matt was in a great wartime flick (forget the title) that was a goof of a flick, but he worked because, like Lisa, he dropped all of his Joey approaches to the role. Nice change. Didn’t think I would like that flick at all, but I did. As far as Perry goes, I hate him. I hated The Whole Nine Yards and refused to see the sequel for the same reasons. I screened the first one and left after 15 minutes in. It was total garbage. The boyfriend recently convinced me to watch it one more time, and you know what? I had the same reaction and opinion. Yuck! And I like Jen. She can do no wrong by me. I just wish the movies she’s in had better direction and much better scripts is all.

  9. Don’t forget Davis Schwimmer in Breast Men if you are making a point about friends actors in terrible movies.Also the writting on friends was obvious and unfunny.Please name a “brilliant” friends episode,unless you were being sarcastic which doesnt always translate in type.

  10. I must also admit that I quite enjoyed friends for quite a while, but I at least can blame it on the pressures of trying to fit in as a teenager. Personally I really enjoyed Three to Tango, I thought it was hillarious. I also think you were wise not to mention that matt leblanc appeared in the charlies angels movies… wow, the first one was “so good” that I didn’t even bother watching the second one. Jennifer Anistons future looks like it might be promising, she’s set to star in movies with the likes of Clive Owen and Ben Kingsley. I can see Schwimmer directing, and being quite successful too, I think that he knows that his career has gone that way (he directed a bunch of friends episodes this last year). The rest of them are screwed. Even with their TV careers, Joey will last, at the longest, 3 seasons, and that’s stretching it.

  11. hmmm. i admit it : i am also i guy in his (early) thirties who quite enjoys friend… i dont love it, i “quite enjoy” it. anyhow : being british and spoilt for choice of top comedy compared to america (there i said it) i have to say its easy to tire of the “wise cracking” style of humour thats all too common… i wish the shows were a little-less (or a lot less) knowingly being humourous.

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