Beautiful moments, a nice dose of nostalgia, some not really new revelations, and not much more.
A nice reunion of alumni. A sweet evening of reunion with friends, touching. But not much more. The special show Friends: reunion (The Reunion in original version), broadcast this evening unencrypted on TF1 and awaited for months and months by fans, after being postponed for a whole year by COVID, gave birth to a mouse. A nice nostalgic little mouse, far from the must for serious wine that one could hope for.
For 1h38, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer strolled through the sets of the cult series, reconstituted for the occasion. They sat in sofas, in armchairs, around a table. They did their best to replay buddies time (in exchange for a $ 2.5 million check per person, it deserves to be clarified) On autopilot, they hugged, many times, cried, often, and tried to rekindle a flame that burns especially among the fans now. Besides, most Friends have not seen all episodes of the series. Some do not remember much, like David Schwimmer who does not even remember throwing a ball at Matt LeBlanc for hours, for the episode “The One With The Ball” (in 1999). None can remember the name of the old neighbor downstairs, Mr. Heckles. Matthew Perry, strangely extinct, clearly seemed out of the group, almost absent.
In this artificially overplayed atmosphere, James Corden has turned into master of ceremonies, unfortunately remaining on the surface of things, questioning the Friends on subjects often mentioned by actors in the Media over the past two decades. It was sorely lacking in novelty, exploration or analysis. And on arrival, there is not much left of Friends: The Reunion and this exceptional gathering, which should have been so much more than that. That being said, here is all we will keep:
Matt LeBlanc’s arm injury
In 1996, when the episode “The One With The Jam” aired on American TV, Joey appeared on the screen with a cast on his right arm. In the first few seconds, we discover that he had a bad fall after jumping on his bed. In reality, the writers must have found a way out of an injury that really made the actor suffer. A few days earlier, on the set of “The One Where No One’s Ready”, Joey was fighting with Chandler to keep his place in Monica’s big chair. But during an umpteenth take, the actor missed it and completely gave up his shoulder! “I went over the coffee table and tripped. My legs came up and my shoulder dislocated.”, says Matt LeBlanc in Friends The Reunion. “We had to stop filming and take Matt to the hospital”, continues David Crane, the co-creator of the series. An anecdote that had already been divulged by the actor, but the special show unveiled the footage of the filming of the time, where we see the interpreter of Joey getting really bad.
David Schwimmer was disgusted by Marcel
This is not a revelation: the actor hated filming with the little monkey in season 1 and he pushed, in season 2, to get rid of it. First of all, because it was very complicated to film a scene correctly with him. Then because Ross’s interpreter had to put up with his not very clean paws on his face: “When the monkey was resting on my shoulder while waiting to shoot a scene, its trainer would come and open a box to give the monkey live maggots to eat “, he recalls in Friends: The Reunion. “The monkey would take maggots, cut them in half, eat them and then put their paws on me. “ And Schwimmer concluded with a big “Fuck off ! “
Matthew Perry’s Disease
It’s the Friends who struggled the most to cash in on the fame and the money. We knew he had succumbed to alcohol and drugs during his years on the show, but Matthew Perry delivered a heartbreaking confession to his comrades on the show. He says that as a comedian of the band, he had put himself under terrible pressure, during the filming in public: “Personally, I felt like I was going to die if the audience didn’t laugh. It’s unhealthy, I know. But if the audience weren’t laughing, I would sweat, I had seizures … I felt this every night“, admits the actor, visibly still marked by this period.
The real life of Martha Kauffman and David Crane
Kevin S. Bright, David Crane and Martha Kauffman are the co-creators of Friends. But we understand through this special show, that the series was largely inspired by the lives of the last two: “With Martha Kauffman, when we were 20, we lived in New York. We had a group of close friends. We were trying to make money, to fall in love. And we thought it would make a good show. “ The duo specifies that they were inspired by people from their families and their friends to design the characters. Besides, “we chose Chandler as our first name after a friend of mine”, specifies Marta Kauffman.
David and Jennifer’s Impossible Love Story
Officially, none of the Friends never dated another. But it almost did in 1994. As David Schwimmer bluntly confesses, “during the first season, I had a crush on Jen. A very, very big crush.“And his playmate adds:”It was mutual“.
Gunther is actually Tom Hanks
He didn’t say more than ten words during his short video intervention. But we have seen that James Michael Tyler, at 59, has a rather strange resemblance to the Oscar-winning superstar … In general, the former supporting roles of the series were only entitled in this reunion apparitions dispatched. Whether it’s parents Geller (Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles), lost in the audience. Let it be Maggie Wheeler who barely had time to (re) say that she created Janice’s iconic laugh in a nervous and spontaneous way, to face the charisma of Matthew Perry. Or whether it was Tom Selleck, returned to play Richard to … say nothing at all.
Lady Gaga grew up with Phoebe
Lisa Kudrow picked up her guitar to sing “Smelly Cat”, improvising an unlikely duet with Lady Gaga. Seeming almost embarrassed, the actress then received praise from the successful singer, who thanked her for embodying a form of difference in the series, through which people on the fringes were able to recognize themselves: “Thank you for being that person for all of us in Friends. This person is a little different, even if that is not necessarily the right word. The one who could be deeply herself! “
– Digiceleb (@Digiceleb) May 27, 2021
Carl really could have been Joey instead of Matt LeBlanc
In the episode “The One With Unagi”, Joey hires an actor who looks vaguely like him, to play his “twin,” so that he can participate in a lucrative clinical trial. The guy in question is called Carl and is played by Louis Mandylor. However, the creators of the series tell in Friends: The Reunion, that Mandylor was the last contestant in the running, for the cast, in 1994, against Matt LeBlanc. He could have been Joey, but ultimately lost and was treated to that guest star appearance as a consolation prize!
The first cast actor was David Schwimmer
Martha Kauffman says the role of Ross was written with him in mind. The two writers had crossed the actor and “his beaten dog head “ during a previous hearing. They absolutely wanted to see him join Friends. But disgusted by a previous failed television experience, Schwimmer had chosen to return to Chicago to do theater. Martha Kauffman finally convinced him.
The last night after the shoot
Through very touching images, we discover how the very last sequence of Friends, in 2004. The gang of six spun down this hall to go have a coffee. “Where?Chandler blurted out. And then the director yelled “Cut.” And that was it. We saw the actors burst into tears, almost literally crumble. And then a few minutes later, the set was already setting. to be demolished! “Because a pilot of a new series was filming himself there the next day“Kevin S. Bright remembers. So the band hung out on this shattered set, an impromptu party was organized in the ruins of the set and each member of the crew wrote a note in a piece of wall. of the decor. “I shit here “, had signed Matt LeBlanc, laughing when he found his message, 17 years later.
The real (and good) reason preventing the return of Friends
Everything would have to be broken to relaunch the series. This is in essence what the comedians responded to James Corden in Friends: The Reunion. Without any hesitation, leaving no room for a possible rumor, Lisa Kudrow was cash: “No. Sorry but no, that won’t happen. Already it is a decision that belongs to Marta and David (Kauffman and Crane, the co-creators). And they ended the series in the most beautiful way. They voluntarily offered a happy ending to everyone. Each character ends with the prospect of a good life. So they would have to undo these beautiful things to create new stories. We wouldn’t want to undo these happy ends! “
What are Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe doing in 2021?
The question that kills and to which each of the actors has already answered again and again. For Jennifer Aniston, Ross and Rachel are married, obviously. With several children. For Courteney Cox, “Monica is certainly still obsessed with competition. Her children are probably already graduates but she continues to take care of the sale of primary school cakes. And Chandler keep making her laugh everyday”. For her part, Lisa Kudrow imagines Phoebe living in Connecticut with Mike and their children. “She speaks up to defend her children who are a little on the margins and all the other children who are also different. She created an art program, she teaches music …“What about Joey? The only one who actually got a sequel, in the spin-off, obviously stayed in California:”Joey opened a sandwich shop in Venice Beach ! “says Matt LeBlanc with a laugh. New York is really a thing of the past.