Sunday, October 24, 2021

Friends: The Reunion

Honest Movie Review About Friends: The Reunion

Fans have been saying goodbye to the six Friends for 17 years, ever since they saw those six keys laid out on the counter in the empty New York apartment.

They are now reunited as they reminisce about the show, play trivia games, read through scripts, and sit down with James Corden’s ubiquitous lacklustre humour (Although this event was fantastic, but the choice of presenter was a pitfall).

Friends: The Reunion repeatedly reminds viewers that its existence, which has been discussed for nearly as long as the original show was on the air, is a rarity. Another example: Kudrow is asked if she would consider doing another Friends episode or movie during a more formal Q&A segment moderated by James Corden.

She immediately says no, while series co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman look on with approval from their socially separated seats in the audience. In other words, cherish this moment of communal bonding over whether or not Rachel and Ross were on a break, because Friends is over after this one 104-minute limited-edition flashback. 

To be clear, this special fully embraces the seductive flashbackery that fans of their favourite shows expect from reboots, reimaginings, and revisitations. Know more about Containment movie now.

We see the Friends watch old Friends clips and bloopers, do table reads of scenes from previous Friends episodes, and talk about Friends with Corden while sitting in front of the fountain from the Friends opening credits. Friends: The Reunion is a Friends zone at its most extreme.

At the start of the special, each actor enters the rebuilt set of Friends one by one. Going back to the place where they worked for ten seasons is clearly emotional – some are able to hold back their tears, but Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston are reaching for tissues right away.

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They walk through the scene, recalling moments that were hidden from the audience, such as Cox hiding her lines behind the fruit bowl and their ritualistic huddle that resulted in Matt Le Blanc’s shoulder being dislocated. It’s clear that these six actors genuinely cared for and enjoyed each other’s company.

Of course, it’s not just the six main characters who appear; there are also cameos from Tom Selleck (who played Monica’s boyfriend Richard), Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles (who played Ross and Monica’s parents), and many others. When Lisa Kudrow and Lady Gaga perform Phoebe’s iconic song Smelly Cat, it’s a particularly touching moment.

Germanotta expresses gratitude to Kudrow for representing those who are “different,” to which Kudrow responds, “And thank you for carrying it along.” The show’s three creators give interviews in which they recall the casting process, having to compete with other producers for Aniston and Matthew Perry, how each of them breathed life into their character, and how, when they put them together, television history was made.

This isn’t hard-hitting television, but it’s exactly what the Friends reunion needed to be: equal parts light-hearted and emotional, revealing never-before-heard anecdotes that provide new perspective, and celebrating the phenomenon that has been watched over 100 billion times and has global influence.

If they had chosen any other presenter – perhaps an older comedian who could relate to the Friends hysteria of the 1990s, rather than a stiff Corden offering no charm or buffer – it would have deserved five stars, but this was a near perfect revisitation and closure of a show that has made audiences smile, laugh, or cry.

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