Reflecting On “Friends” Failure In The Movies

As the old saying goes, there are always exceptions to every rule. The rules we’re talking about here is the absolute inability of TV stars to successfully make the transition to movie stars. Yes, there are the odd success stories like Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Johnny Depp and even Rhona Mitra seems to be on her way (she’s not there quite yet), but for the most part these represent mere drops in an ocean of small screen to big screen flops and failures.

Some people believe that the more popular a TV performer is, the better the chance that they could successfully transition to movies. But in reality the opposite seems to be more true. In some recent film production classes I took, the instructor made a great observation about this by saying:

“The general public isn’t likely to pay money to go see a celebrity (go to see a movie they’re in) that they’re accustomed to seeing for free on TV each week”

On top of that, people in general don’t deal very well with change, and if they love a certain TV celebrity, they don’t normally want to see that actor playing a different character from the one they love. This obviously isn’t true for everyone, but the principle is still there.

There is also the issue of TV acting being very different (not harder, better or worse) from acting in film. They are two different styles. Yes they are obviously similar, but it’s like in baseball where batters are better at hitting either left handed pitchers or right handed pitchers. It’s the same game, they’re doing the same thing… but it’s different. Think about it… if you flip on the TV late at night and see something you’ve never seen before on the screen, you instantly know if you’re watching a movie or a TV episode (Unless it’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force).

The most striking example of this “rule” is the cast from one of the most popular sitcoms in television history… “Friends”. The show lasted 10 seasons and was still extremely popular when it went off air. The 6 leads of the show were household names and conventional wisdom dictated that they would all be very successful in any move to the big screen they made. Well… that didn’t really work out did it?

So let’s take some time to reflect on the film legacy of former “Friends” stars shall we?


Just as there are exceptions to the “no TV stars make it in the film industry” rule, there are also some exceptions to the “All the Friends stars movies have failed” rule too and it’s only fair that we acknowledge those exceptions (although as you’ll see, most of these exceptions don’t even really count):

Friends-Nine-Yards.jpgTHE WHOLE NINE YARDS
This is easily the very best movie to have a former friends star as a lead. Yeah Matthew Perry basically played his exact same character from Friends in this film… but for this movie that’s exactly what he needed to do. Acting this way along side of Bruce Willis made for a terrific on screen chemistry. The movie was flat out hilarious and introduced me to one of my most powerful celeb crushes… Amanda Peet. Too bad the sequel sucked so badly.
To be honest I never really liked this one and have never understood the following it has. However, there is no denying this film was a success and has a very loyal following. I hesitate to put this one in here because Courtney Cox isn’t really the “lead” of the movie, but her role is a big and significant one so I’ll say it qualifies.

Ummm… really that’s about it. Of all 6 former “Friends” stars, those two are the only movies that could fit here. I’m sure some people would like to point out Office Space or perhaps Analyze This and also thrown Bruce Almighty in there too… but although Friends stars were IN those movies, they were only secondary supporting characters and that doesn’t really count. I also don’t count doing a voice in an animated film wither, so please don’t mention Madagascar (sweet heavens how I LOATH that movie).

So what are we left with? The surprising (or not so surprising) reality is that out of the 6 Friends stars, not many of them have even been given more than a couple of opportunities to lead a project. The smell of big screen failure seems to march ahead of them into any casting meeting. And sadly, when they have been given a shot… it usually ends up an epic failure. Don’t believe me? How about some of these classics (seriously, the following list looks like it was pulled right out of a Wallmart $2 bargain bin):


Who can forget the instant cinematic masterpiece where Matt LeBlanc (Joey on Friends) plays opposite a baseball playing monkey. No… I’m serious. I’ll repeat those three words again to let the aweomeness sink in a little deeper. BASEBALL… PLAYING… MONKEY. I hope LeBlanc didn’t just fire his agent after being talked into doing this… I hope he dragged his ass into the parking lot and beat the hell out of him too.
Friends-Mari.jpgMARCI X
I hope whatever movie executive gave the official green light to this movie took a trip to some third world nation and caught syphilis. What the hell was Lisa Kudrow thinking?!?!?! Exactly what part of “A Jewish American princess falls in love with a bad boy gangsta rapper played by Damon Wayans” sounds like a good idea to you?
Friends-Lucky.jpgLUCKY NUMBERS
Another absolute shit bomb from Lisa Kudrow. At least with this project you could understand the appeal since John Travolta was still a pretty hot name in 2000 (although his career had already started its decline again by then). Still, one read of the script should have sent her, and everyone else involved with this film running.
Freinds-3000.jpg3000 MILES TO GRACELAND
Man, the first 15 minutes of this flick had me thinking I was watching one of the greatest guy movies of all time. Then it went straight downhill for the rest of it. I hesitate to put this one on the list because technically Courtney Cox isn’t one of the “leads”, but her role is the third most prominent one in the film. To bad.
Friends-Fools.jpgFOOLS RUSH IN
Ok, I at least can understand why Matthew Perry gave this one a shot. The studio was very behind this film giving it a big marketing push, Selma Hayek was a hot name (and hot other things as well) and in theory it at least sounded interesting. However the movie turned out horribly, and even though Friends was insanely popular at the time, the movie failed to even crack $30 million. No one cared.
Words simply fail me. I watched this 10 years ago once to appease a woman I was with. I no longer speak with that woman.
Friends-Picture.jpgPICTURE PERFECT
Really the first (of many to come) film where I realized that Jennifer Aniston was pretty much always going to be Rachel in every movie role she ever took. A standard RomCom snooze fest without the courtesy of giving us anything to laugh at in the film (other than at the film itself). Times must have been pretty rough for Kevin Bacon to appear in this thing.
Friends-Pallbearer.jpgTHE PALLBEARER
Seems like in a 2 year span the studios were taking chances on every Friends cast member, and even the funny looking David Schwimmer was no exception. Hey, don’t get me wrong… offer me a movie with Gwynethh Paltrow and I’d take it too. But come on… anyone could have told that this film was going to be terrible. Oh… and even though Friends was huge at the time… the flick made LESS than $6 million. Nice.
Friends-Polly.jpgALONG CAME POLLY
Wow… SHOCKING! Another RomCom from Jennifer Aniston! This time she’s paired up with with Ben Stiller and even that doesn’t work. There were times that this whole mess just felt like a rip off movie version of Dharma and Greg if you follow me.
Friends-Serving.jpgSERVING SARA
I’ll give this to Matthew Perry… when he signs up to appear in a RomCom as the same old guy he always is… he at least manages to appear with some of the hottest women in the business. This movie was almost worth the 90 dreadfully painful minutes just to see Elizabeth Hurley. Well… at least when she wasn’t speaking that is.
Friends-Tango.jpgTHREE TO TANGO
Wow, i don’t even know where to begin with how bad this movie was. Ok, if you’re going to have a love triangle type of comedy, this isn’t a bad cast for it. But nothing worked in this film. Well ok… there was this one scene where Neve Campbell is talking about a lesbian experience she had in college while soaking in a bath tub that’s pretty memorable… but that’s for the wrong reasons.

Oh there are others, but I think we’ve tortured ourselves enough at this point don’t you agree?

One of the interesting things to notice is that even though these people are all “names”… today you really don’t see them getting many (if any) roles at all aside from Jennifer Aniston. So Matt LeBlanc hasn’t had a lot of failures… but that’s because no one wants to give him any more chances… and who can blame them?

However, I don’t think the lack of big screen success for the former Friends cast is necessarily a negative reflection on them as actors, but rather more of a case of what I was saying at the beginning of this post. TV stars have an almost impossible time transitioning to the big screen successfully. It does happen sometimes, but not often.

I also think that in the specific example of the Friends cast, the general audiences’ reluctance to accept these performers in any other role is actually a testament to just how good they all were on that show and how great the chemistry was between them, so please don’t take this post as a “bash” on the Friends crew… just as an observation, good or bad.

So what are some of your favorite Friends cast movies? Do you even have any at all?

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76 thoughts on “Reflecting On “Friends” Failure In The Movies

  1. So Jennifer Aniston’s “Marley and Me” just did 14 million in it’s opening day…. guess she can be called a “movie star” now, and don’t say it’s because of Owen Wilson ’cause he’s not a big star like Carey or Stiller.

  2. Thank you for writing what I’ve been saying for years – ANISTON MOVIE CAREER SUCKS MONKEY PRIVATES. That woman couldn’t open a closed door, let alone a movie. The funny thing is that people keep saying she’s playing Rachel Green in every movie, but the reality is – if you saw any of Aniston’s pitiful work from before Friends you’d realize that Rachel is Aniston playing herself. She’s not even a one-trick pony. She has no tricks at all – despite her horsey countenance. I have zero talent. Put me in a movie with alongside Carrey, Stiller and Vaughan in their heydays and CHA-CHING! Added to that, Aniston didn’t get those jobs because of talent. She parlayed being Mrs. Brad Pitt into a lot of major film roles that ordinarily she wouldn’t have had a shot at. THAT is the real reason she’s still throwing Pity Parties 4 years after her divorce. It’s hard to have a movie career when no studio will pony up the money to make your movies. I’m not in Hollywood and even I know that much.

  3. The only film I liked of the ones listed was “The Whole Nine Yars”. It is a very entertaining film. There is no stretch for Matthew Perry in this role and Bruce Willis had me in stitches.

  4. Courtney Cox did come out in a movie called November which did garner her some praise, but it was a limited release I believe, and a box office smash.

    Lisa Kudrow has done some work in a few dramas. I think she starred with Val Kilmer in a movie about the porn industry or something a long those lines.

  5. @John…

    I think that you don’t give enough credit to the T.V. to Movie for ACTORS in Hollywood. You wrote this (about the odd “exceptions” to the rule)

    Yes, there are the odd success stories like Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Johnny Depp and even Rhona Mitra seems to be on her way (she’s not there quite yet), but for the most part these represent mere drops in an ocean of small screen to big screen flops and failures.

    I mean, I would have to say that the names you did put down are some of the TOP STARS in Hollywood. But did you forget that The Majority of Comedians who start out on T.V. and then try to make a shift into Movies actually succeed… and not just mild success either, huge success. Look at the STAR BUILDING POWER of a little known show called, “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”. I’ll just list some of those actors: Steve Martin, Dan Akaroid, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Will Farrell, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, etc… THIS LIST IS UNENDING… Also you have, Will Smith from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (and don’t say that he doesn’t count because he was a rapper first) He DEF. Counts… Also, Jim Carrey, Aschton Kutcher, Ricky Gervais (not Hollywood, but still T.V.),

    I honestly think that it is incorrect to write that the majority of T.V. to Film stars flop…. I just don’t think that’s right. I’d say it’s more that most who try succeed to at least Minimal Extent and a lot to MASSIVE SUCCESS. The ones who don’t try don’t succeed…

    I also have to dissagree with your Jennifer Anniston theory. She is one of the most beloved women in Hollywood right now. Just because it would seem that you aren’t a fan doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a huge fan base. She does. She just isn’t in a lot of good films is all. She needs a better manager.

    So, in closing I think that the Cast of “Friends” only work in the context of that show… it was a fluke. (with two decent actresses who also happen to be smokin’ hot. “which in Hollywood and everywhere else helps out a whole lot”)… I’d say that the exceptions to the rule are actaually the cast of this T.V. show.

  6. I don’t buy the TV to Movie theory and just think the Friends cast made some weak choices overall. The Break-up was a big hit by the way.

    Will Smith was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for years on television while his blockbusters rolled into theaters. Michael J Fox was still filming Familty Ties while working on the Back to the Future sequels. There are just too many examples where it wasn’t a problem at all.

  7. Matthew Perry played a somewhat not-Chandler character in the surprisingly fantastic movie ‘The Ron Clark Story’. I have it on my Tivo and watch it all the time.

  8. whoa! John Break Up did suck but I’m pretty sure it also did pretty well. I don’t know one person who hasn’t seen it.

    And Jennifer Aniston may not have been in the posters for Bruce Almighty buuuut DUDE it’s a fuckin JIM CARREY movie! What the fuck do you expect?! Even in the 2 or 3 Jim Carrey movie posters where there are other faces, Jim Carrey is the biggest face and the other people are always in the background except for fun with Dick and Jane but that’s fuckin obvious why they couldn’t put JUST his face. People would be asking “where the fuck is JANE??!!”

    AND although Aniston wasn’t on the poster for Bruce Almighty, she was in the trailer enough to rub it in that she was in the movie. She was a total prominent character! Are you nuts?

  9. okay I agree with you for the most part BUT “Fools Rush In” and “Along Came Polly” (especially the latter) were good movies.

    But I know what you were saying is that they didn’t make any money. BUT they weren’t “crap” movies. “Along Came Polly” was fuckin HILARIOUS and “Fools Rush In” was pretty good.

  10. Interesting piece. I read that Jennifer Aniston’s production company was going to be remaking the Sound of Music. I just saw the totally awesome Sound of Music Sing-along @ Music Box Theatre and I can’t imagine what she’ll do to such a marvelous gem. Ug.

  11. I think what your ultimetly saying John is that the cast of Friends caught lighting in a bottle and made a ton of money with that sitcom! Lets face it none of them need to work anymore as there all super rich. Schwimmer is starting to direct so he probably feels his chances of success in front of the camera in movies are limited. Aniston will keep working in movies because she is appealing but movies like the upcoming Marley and Me are for a big paycheck only. Perry took a supporting part in Zac Efron’s next film 13 Again, and Leblanc hasn’t been seen since his friends spinoff was cancelled. Cox is playing Adam Sandler wife in the upcoming Disney film Bedtime stories.

    Good work


  12. Jennifer Aniston is a good actress (and successful). I went to see a lot of those movies because of her (or someone else who was NOT the leading role). I saw the Break Up because of Aniston (not Vaughn who I think is the exact same character in everything). I saw Polly because of Aniston and Seymour Hoffman (not Stiller who I also think is the same in everything – “Oh no, something zany/rediculous is happening to me because I’m clumsy”). Finally, I definitely saw Bruce Almighty because of Freeman and Aniston (can’t stand Jim Carrey – He’s obnoxious in almost every movie I’ve seen of his).

    And while Polly and the Break Up may have sucked, Aniston did a good job in them. And while she may not be the main character in Bruce Almighty and others mentioned above, she was given a contract. She’s solid. I really think that if the studios thought they’d make the same amount of money without Aniston in all of those roles, they would have highered someone else (maybe a no-name, maybe an actress that was slightly recognizable but not well-known). The point is, they would not waste money, if they didn’t think they could bank off her. I would call that successful.

    P.S. All the mothers in my family love her (as well as my sister and all of my friends who are girls), and while these people may also like HSM3 and other crappy movies, they have money to spend on Aniston’s movies as well. Hence, she is a successful actress.

  13. There’s only one real actor amongst the six.

    They were all very fortunate to have been given what they were given with ‘Friends’.

    And Jennifer Aniston should be offering up whatever hosannahs she can think of to whatever deities possible, for her ‘success’. So far she’s managed to corral the ’15 minutes of fame’ of about a hundred others.

    But don’t blame her. Blame the market. The same one that got its weekly feed-good fix for ten years, courtesy of ‘Friends’.

    ‘We get the government we deserve’? We also get the entertainment industry we deserve.

  14. Coming from someone who definitely did not watch friends except for maybe like, twice, Jennifer Aniston was pretty good in Office Space and Rock Star, but as for starring roles she’s been pretty much like ok, and that’s it. I hated Romy and Michelle, and honestly I didn’t like the Whole Nine Yards that much, although other people did :-)

  15. I know a lot of people’s definition of “good” means it brought in a ton of money (as this post seems to suggest). But Aniston is quite good in nearly everything she’s in – even the lead performances that aren’t mentioned in the post above. She brings what is needed to the table every time and never feels out of place; and poor acting is never mentioned in the same breath:

    Derailed (someone looking for something completely “un-Aniston”, this is it)
    The Good Girl (again, great performance)
    Friends with Money
    Rumor Has It
    Rock Star – not an amazing movie, but it’s decent and she’s good in it.

    – – Three of these films she’s the lead and in the other two she’s second or third on the bill.

  16. I have to agree with all the movies from the list except “Along Came Polly” which was hilarious, there is no way this can be consider an Epic failure. ($ 87,856,565 Theaters alone)

  17. Schwimmer was in a movie called “Breast Men” about plastic surgeons who invent breast implants. It was bad.

    But Ross does voice the giraffe in Madagascar, and that was considered a success. Just sayin.

    I love Matt Perry, and I will watch just about anything he is in. Whole Nine Yards is on my all time fav comedy list.

  18. Fools rush in was my fave. Perry did an excellent job in that flick. It may of not of made a lot of money, but I found it on hbo one day and liked it ever since. I’m Mexican and they got the whole mexican family part right on for me.

  19. Hey John I hate to be a nitpick here but Kudrow has managed to be a critical success, and while not bringing in the big bucks she still is regarded as a talented actress that people will enjoy to see.

    Case in point – Analize this, and the Opposite of Sex. She isn’t going to be a lead in a movie and she recognizes this so she picks a lot of small indipendant films that will showcase her acting ability.

  20. Hmmm, I think we can find many people who were succesfull in movies after a great Tv show (please excuse my bad grammar, I’m actually French).

    Michael J. Fox, most of the cast of the SNL show (Bill Murray, Ayckroyd, Ferrell…), don’t forget Will Smith, Bruce Willis, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito or even Eastwood, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Roger Moore…

    Don’t forget that most of the movies with an actor of Friends was produced during the Friend Era (Explaining the quality of those movies). Maybe it’s too soon to tell :)
    After all, the first movies of Clooney (excepting the Rodriguez and Soderbergh’s one) were actually bad (remember Batman & Robin folks ?), that’s the same with first Michael J.Fox (Teen Wolf ?)…

    I like 3000 miles to Graceland by the way, cheap but fun (Costner vs Russell ! Come on !!!)

  21. I haven’t read all of the posts, so pardon my repetition if it occurs.

    First off, what about David Schwimmer in Band of Brothers? I get it, not officially a movie, but I disagree. I consider any mini-series one long movie. I’m betting if they made this into a five-part movie franchise (two episodes per movie) it would have been setting some HUGE records at the box office and acquiring monumental reviews. While David Schwimmer was in it for only three episodes, that’s 2.5 movies using my logic!

    Secondly, what are we doing here with Along Came Polley? I don’t think I’ve been this offended since the David Lean imdb poll revealed the top vote to be that people weren’t familiar with his work! If Scream wasn’t bad enough (read some Jacques Derrida and watch it again), now you’re saying a movie containing one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s greatest roles is crap?! Come now.

    I get it, it wasn’t Jennifer Aniston or Ben Stiller, it was just Philip Seymour Hoffman that dominated the movie. I agree to a certain extent, but the fact remains that this rom com had me laughing throughout the film (yet again, mostly in thanks to Sir Hoffman). Would it have worked with a different actress? Would it have worked with a different leading actor? Perhaps, but who cares? It was Hoffman that made this movie stand out against all of the other crap rom coms cursing our theaters today. So hey, if I get to admire greatness in a movie that should have provided otherwise AND look at Jennifer Anistons ass, all the better. SUCCESS.

    I would talk about Scream, but come now, that’s like saying Good Fellas was a bad gangster genre movie. We would not have the majority of horror films today:

    Saw/Hostel – Scream introduced obscene gore as indicated in the opening scene, amongst others! I’m not saying it was the FIRST, I’m saying it was the first movie to include gore into mainstream theaters.

    Vacancy/Funny Games/The Strangers – Notice how all of the “supernatural” killers of the past have come to be replaced with real people? Who started this? Scream! (yet again, in the mainstream context). Even Saw and Hostel have included real people as the killers.

    Courtney Cox does a great job of providing a despicable character, contributing greatly to a significant subplot.

  22. @ John
    For the most part are absolutly right but you forgot….

    Matthew Fox (Vantage Point, We Are Marshall)
    Steve Carroll (Get Smart, 40 YOV)
    Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses, Knocked Up)

  23. I think you have to give Aniston The Break Up. I thought it sucked, but it was successful. Even if Vaughn had the better pull, she was prominent in the marketing , hard to say she didn’t contribute to getting butts in the seat(if only because of hers)

  24. Of all the Friends, I thought the break out star would have been Lisa Kudrow. She was great in The Opposite of Sex. I liked her in Analyze That and I was rooting for her in The Comeback. She can actually act and allows me to forget that she played Phoebe for 10 seasons. Jennifer Aniston plays different variations of Rachel. I give her credit for trying to go against type in Derailed but she couldn’t seduce Ron Jeremy if her life depended on it. I wonder what Lisa is doing now.

  25. Great post! I would agree that really noone had anything good happen to them after friends. It’s a shame, I really liked that show. But, I don’t think any of Jennifer Annistons movies were worth the dvd they were printed on, and despite Matt Perry being the same guy, I think there is a niche for him. And, LeBlanc failed at Lost in Space, and really everything he’s done since. They are victims of their own success.

  26. This show sucks SO hard:)

    As for their movies, the majority of them are shit, so they bomb. Nothing really mysterious about this. Occasionally, the public displays common sense by avoiding a shitty film.

  27. i have to say my favorite movie of chandler was three to tango. i dont know why but i always laugh my butt off when i see that movie. to me i see matthew perry as the best of the bunch. he was still chandelish in birds of america and i happened to enjoy that movie too. a little weird but enjoyable.

  28. The Break Up is an under rated gem. People were only disappointed because they thought they were going to be getting wedding crashers 2 with more wacky vaughan hi jinks but what they got was a very good character piece about a incredibly realistic break up.

    Loved it.

    and I am no aniston fan but shes great in it.

  29. I enjoyed Lost in Space a bit. the Whole Nine Yards was good. Didn’t really like Scream (or any of it’s sequels) very much.

    Has anyone seen “The Ron Clark Story” with Perry, or was that a made-for-tv-movie? i enjoyed it a bit. Perry gave a good performance.

    And John! WTF is up with your show?

  30. Hey Darren:

    Courtney Cox in Ace Venture doesn’t count because that came BEFORE friends.

    Jennifer Aniston doesn’t count (as previously mentioned) for Bruce Almighty because she was not one of the leads (doesn’t even appear on the poster).

  31. John good article but Perry was in Almost heroes with Chris Farley. I liked that movie it didn’t make any money but it was good. I have to agree maybe their films don’t do well because everyone is use to seeing them for free on TV.

  32. I still don’t understand then what you are considering as “successful”… ..You could say also that Scream was a success due to Neve Campbell and Wes Craven and that The Whole Nine Yars was due to Bruce Willis. So I guess you’re right, none of them are movie “stars”.
    We’ll have to see with Jennifer Aniston in December though, she is one of the leads with Owen Wilson in that Marley movie. And you can’t say if it’s successful it’s due to Owen, his movies are not successful (see: Drillbit Taylor) unless he has a big co-star like Jackie Chan (see: Those shanghai shit movies).
    And I thought Run, Fat Boy, Run was a good movie. But that’s just me.

  33. Did you forget Big Nothing? While not a financial success, it has found quite the audience on DVD, with every single person I know that has seen it, loving it.

  34. Already mentioned but Aniston in The Good Girl, Office Space and Derailed and even Friends with Money prove she can fill a nice role and is a legit actor if not a super star.

  35. @Zubin

    man that sounds like one hell of a porno

    but i did enjoy leblanc’s performance in Lost In Space but he was more or less a secondary character.

  36. Pallbearer was a nice picture but I admit that a lot of the movies stink, most of all Romy and Michelle (have not seen leBlanks baseball/monkey movie).

    It may be that your point was to talk about the movies that the Friend actors only star in but then you overlook all the great performances made by Kudrow in smaller parts, e.g. Wonderland Murders, Clockwatchers and Kabluey.

  37. Schwimmer was in a little indie flick called Duane Hopwood which was actually pretty good. And I guess Band of Brothers is a miniseries, not a movie, but after seeing him in that I always thought of him as Captain Sobel, not Ross from Friends.

  38. Hi,
    Do you know the name of the film where in a since experiment the male population is 98% gone. and there were Girls who ruled the planet. And one scientist created a boy who grew up in months to a young handsome man. And he escapes the lab and enters the world of women and then…..


  39. You Forgot the BreakUp, that movie is awesome. Anything Vince Vaughn does rocks, and Aniston was lucky enough to be along for the ride.

    Going to see Four Christmases today, cause I will see anything he is in.

  40. I think Scream was a success because of not just its genre…but the fact that it happened to be very entertaining…Along Came Polly, just as an example, was not entertaining. It was trash. And the only thing that made it a success (money-wise), which is what John is trying to say I think, was Ben Stiller.

    : D

  41. Okay, since you won’t let Aniston have ‘Along Came Polly’ or ‘The Breakup’ on the fact that other people carried the film, why is it different in Scream? Does Courtney Cox carry the movie? You say that you could put anyone with Stiller, Vaughn and Carrey and the movie would be a hit… couldn’t one argue that Scream was a ‘success’ because of its genre appeal rather than any movie star in it?

    All your choices seem very arbitrary, especially as they go back and forth with what you label “successful” when it sometimes carries the disclaimer “successful dependent entirely on the Friends star” (as in ‘Along Came Polly’) and sometimes “successful in b.o.” (as in Scream).

    Also no “The Opposite of Sex”? – or is this one of those moments when your opinion on indie movies headlined by the Friends cast somehow trumps critical reception? (You may say what you may about The Good Girl, but it sits at a comfortable 81% at RT; O of Sex at 83%)

  42. No John that’s not it

    How in the world could you forget (or, should I ask, “omit”) two- yes, two films with Jim Carrey?

    Courtney Cox in Ace Ventura;

    Jennifer Aniston in Bruce Almighty?

    Especially the latter. How?
    How? How? How?


    I also give props to Ms. Aniston for her supporting role in Office Space, and, as previously mentioned, The Good Girl. I also thought she was “okay” in Derailed, but y’know…if you are cast as a sultry seductress?? Seduce!

    Gutpuntch: Matt *was* good in Lost In Space. Sad, isn’t it? The rest of the film stunk like three day skunk roadkill.

  43. 6 Days 7 Nights with Schwimmer (sp?) and Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. Schwim def. not the lead, but a good performance and a pretty good movie. W/R to box office gross, this was released right after hey-I-think-I’m-actually-a-lesbian-Heche, so the box office take might have been adversely affected.

  44. Yes, I agree ‘famous’ is more appropriate for her.
    Perhaps Stiller brought people to the theaters, but didn’t Willis did that for ‘The Whole Nine Yards’ and not Perry? ..Which I guess proves your point even more.

  45. You forgot Lost In Space there John.

    I actually think Matt LeBlanc could do some action films, he looked pretty bad ass in Lost In Space but like you said I don’t think many producers are willing to give him a chance.

    It’s also strange that none of the Friends cast has made a successful TV series after that. Studio 60 was a great show and Matt Perry was great in it but for some reason people didn’t tune in.

  46. Hey Victoria,

    Polly made some money… but that was more on Stiller’s back than on Aniston’s (proved by the fact that most of his movies make tons of money and none of hers do)

    I’d also really disagree with you when you say she’s a “big star” right now. I think there is a big difference between being “famous” and being a “star”.

    Aniston is famous… but she’s no “big movie star” by any stretch of the imagination. She has yet to make successful movie that wasn’t carried on the shoulders of a much bigger and successful star and no studio seems willing to give her a major movie to carry on her own.

    She’s famous… but not a “big movie star”

  47. Hey Kiddo,

    Scream was a “success” not just because it made money… but because it won a massive fan base. Critics and the majority of audiences liked it and people still talk about it today.

    Polly (as I mentioned above) made money… but that was due to Stiller, not Aniston (as proved by the fact that none of Aniston’s movies make money and almost all of Stiller’s movie do).

    The Break up was carried by the comedic star power of Vince Vaughn. Once again, his movies make money… hers don’t.

    When Aniston is second fiddle to the likes of Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty) or Ben Stiller or Vince Vuaghn then yes… the movie can make money. BUT YOU CAN Co-STAR A BAG OF HAMMERS WITH THOSE GUYS AND THE MOVIE WOULD MAKE MONEY. Aniston had nothing to do with it. Don’t believe me? Show me a movie that she carried that was a hit? There isn’t one.

    Run Fatboy Run was a bad film… besides, he wasn’t “IN” that movie, so it’s really irrelevant to the conversation.

  48. What are you considering as ‘successful’? Because you mentioned you disliked Scream but it was still a ‘successful’ movie for you, I’m guessing because it made money? So I’d have to agree with Victoriag and give Aniston a bit more credit as Along Came Polly (which was go awful), as the movie did make more than 170 million at the worldwide box office and opened at number 1 in the US. The same with the Break-Up (which was… ok, I guess) it opened at number 1 and grossed quite a bit of money.

    And I’d also say David Schwimmer had some success directing Run Fat Boy Run no? I think it was successful in the UK.

    I think the person who’s had it worse is Matt LeBlanc.
    I have to say, “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” has always been a guilty pleasure for me and my friends.

  49. Hey , John!
    I don’t think you give Jennifer Aniston enough credit in this article. She’s not that good of an actress, but she’s definitely a big star right now. And wasn’t Along Came Polly financially successful?

  50. I take it you haven’t seen Numb (with Perry) John? To me that movie is easily the best movie any friends star has made and Matthew Perry does a pretty damn good performance in it.

  51. I didn’t mind the “Good Girl”. It was ok, but a bit slow. All the same, Jennifer Aniston’s performance was the weakest of the bunch. She didn’t made the movie better, she just hurt it. When ever she’s looking off in her own thought, I kept thinking I was looking at a “Wax Mannequin” of Jennifer Aniston.

    Not only did Micheal J. Fox make the transition from small screen to big screen. He also made the transition the other way with “Spin City”.

    Is it easier to go from small to big, or big to small? I can’t think of any other movie start that transitioned in to TV. Generally it in the twilight of their careers.

  52. I enjoyed Friends quite a bit I mean it’s pretty funny and a good way to burn 22 mins.

    A good film I thought you missed out was The Good Girl with Aniston and Jake Gylenhaal; It’s above the usual rom-com crap and gave me a film I was NOT expecting (plus John C Reilley) and a quick box office mojo search shows it made back its money plus a small chuck of change.

    Another bad one though is Lost in Space. Ouch.

  53. You know I still can’t understand what the crap people find so funny about ‘Friends’. Why was it such a success? The show was never original, was predictable and was barely funny…my girlfriend raves about how good it is…I tried watching a few episodes and as a result almost committed suicide.

    This post has really gotten me thinking a lot about these TV ‘celebs’ and their failed transitions…and you’re right about there not being very many success stories with these guys. The only person I can think of, off the top of my head is our lovable Marty McFly (MJ Fox).


  54. funny but i thought friends sucked completely….as with most people that show was the last thing i wanted to see…a bunch of non realistic crap happening to a bunch of people that would be shot first at the co. christmas party…..

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