It is a truth universally acknowledged that an actor with a hit TV show will try his or her luck in film. The Friends are certainly no exception — even Marcel had a star turn in Outbreak. But for every Scream and Analyze This, there’s, well, an Ed or Lost in Space. (Sorry, Joey.) Here’s a breakdown of their box office hits…and misses.
FRIEND Jennifer Aniston
MOVIES The Iron Giant, Office Space, Dream for an Insomniac, The Object of My Affection, Picture Perfect, She’s the One, ‘Til There Was You
CRITICAL TAKE Though she stretches by taking on less glamorous roles in Affection and She’s the One (and it’s almost worth sitting through Office Space to see the erstwhile Rachel Green in a T.G.I. Friday’s-style ensemble), it’s 1997’s Picture Perfect that showcases Aniston — who plays a chic ad exec — at her most adorable, clotheshorsey best.
FRIEND Courteney Cox
MOVIES 3000 Miles to Graceland, Scream 1-3, Commandments
CRITICAL TAKE She sure didn’t pull a Monica in the Scream trilogy, playing the terrifically bitchy TV reporter Gale Weathers (nice hair-color changes, too), but the less said about Commandments, the better. Personally, we think she should get props for keeping a straight face during her pre-Friends stint as Jim Carrey’s girlfriend in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
FRIEND Lisa Kudrow
MOVIES Dr. Dolittle 2, Lucky Numbers, Hanging Up, Analyze This, The Opposite of Sex, Clockwatchers, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
CRITICAL TAKE The most critically successful Friend, Kudrow won big (a New York Film Critics Award, an Independent Spirit Award) for playing against type in The Opposite of Sex and kept Billy Crystal from hogging the screen in Analyze This. But even Ms. Buffay’s ditsy charm couldn’t elevate the dismal one-two punch of Lucky Numbers and Hanging Up.
FRIEND Matthew Perry
MOVIES The Whole Nine Yards, Three to Tango, Almost Heroes, Fools Rush In
CRITICAL TAKE Perry’s movie alter egos have had good luck with comely costars Salma Hayek, Amanda Peet, and Neve Campbell. (And Yards bud Bruce Willis guested on Friends and got Perry a cameo in The Kid.) But while his Gray’s Papaya speech in Fools made us weep, it was painful to see Boss Man Bing reduced to Chris Farley’s straight man in the lame Almost Heroes.
FRIEND Matt LeBlanc
MOVIES Charlie’s Angels, Lost in Space, Ed
CRITICAL TAKE Looks like Estelle needs to get him some better scripts: Neither Lost in Space nor Ed (didn’t he learn from acting with Marcel?) rocketed LeBlanc to film stardom. But we must admit he was pretty hot as Lucy Liu’s trailer-living boyfriend in Charlie’s Angels, even though he never once uttered ”How you doin’?”