Movie Article

Friends Don't Let 'Friends' Hit the Big Screen

TV shows on the big screen -- Why ''Friends'' and ''Arrested Development'' should stick to the small screen

Now that the ladies of Sex and the City have successfully swanned their way into theaters to the tune of $145 million and counting, it's only natural that we've seen renewed rumors of movies based on Friends (denied) and Arrested Development (still possible). In fact, star Jeffrey Tambor told EW last month that ''we are indeed doing'' the film, but a script hasn't yet been written. Although Friends was a consistently good comedy, and Arrested a brilliant one, I hope neither ever actually reaches theaters. Friends is hard to miss when it won't go away — its reruns are positively legion. Plus there was the ill-fated spin-off. I know what happened to Joey after Friends: He moved to L.A. with Drea de Matteo and got less funny. As for the rest of the gang...the series finale so successfully set them up — Chandler and Monica settling in the burbs, for instance — that a return would feel extraneous. Arrested is an even trickier prospect: Its insular world, packed with inside jokes and sly callbacks, made it a cult hit — and probably kept it one. How do you entice newcomers to spend two hours in a world that punishes them? Another snag: Arrested exploited our DVR culture, with background sight gags and dialogue flashes that practically demanded that you keep your finger on the rewind button. That's not so easy to do in a movie theater. Arrested's inspired writers could surely rise to the challenge, but I'd rather they do something else, like reinvent TV comedy. Again.

Originally posted Jul 11, 2008 Published in issue #1002 Jul 18, 2008 Order article reprints