Silly Sunday: Thanksgiving Week! Let’s Re-Write/Re-Cast Friends Again!!!!

This is like the third time we’ve done this, don’t care. It’s Friends! It’s the one pop culture artifact that everyone everywhere in the world has an awareness of! And which has some very very strong archetypes that are fun to translate to other cultures.

In the original, it centers on two apartments across the hall from each other. In one, very organized chef Monica and very disorganized spoiled rich girl Rachel. In the other, office worker awkward joker Chandler and charming confident ladies man aspiring actor Joey. And then there is Monica’s older brother/Chandler’s best friend nerdy Ross. And Monica’s ex-roommate/friend flakey Pheobe.

The Friends cast is making $2.5 million each to reunite for an HBO Max  special — Quartz

I’m gonna slightly change the set-up. Monica and Ross’s grandmother has an old building in a good area in Bombay. She is a nice lady and rents rooms to nice young people she likes. Monica moves in with her because she is sick of being criticized by her parents for not being exactly what they wanted. Ross moves in after his marriage falls apart. Chandler gets a room on recommendation from Ross. Phoebe is adopted by Monica after she sees her singing outside her restaurant and brought home. Rachel flees to the house when she runs away from her wedding. And Joey strikes up a friendship with Chandler and ends up being offered a room just because he is so nice.

Now we have the one nice old lady, and the 6 young people sharing a household and trying to figure out their lives. The thing that makes it special is that the young people heal each other. There is a reason they are all in this strange place, their families of origin and the life they had planned is all falling apart. So they form a new family and gain back respect and confidence and sense of self, and then fall in love with each other.

Okay, Casting!!!

Monica: Sonam Kapoor! Fight me on this if you want, but she is all precise and perfectionist and mothers her friends.

Rachel: Parineeta! Assuming she can remember how to act again.

Phoebe: Mithila Palkar. She is so good at playing funny and flakey!

Ross: Arjun Kapoor. Especially with Pari.

Joey: Rajkummar Rao. Hot and dim aspiring actor would be hilarious from him.

Chandler: Ranveer. Gotta be. Hyper and joking all the time, but with a core of decency.

Okay, now you talk. Your favorite casting, the changes you would make to the plot, all of that.

Oh, and the Grandma who owns the house and brought them all together:

Helen?

Juhi Chawla?

Jaya Bachchan?

Rekha?

Shabana Azmi?

Neena Gupta?

9 thoughts on “Silly Sunday: Thanksgiving Week! Let’s Re-Write/Re-Cast Friends Again!!!!

    • HA! You are right, she would be terrible at it!!!

      On the other hand, if we change the Grandma landlady to be a funny aunt landlady, Vidya would be perfect.

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  1. Sonam as Rachel is perfect, but I’m not sure about Parineeti as Rachel. I feel like Jacqueline with a proper dialect coach might be better? Then I would have to make Sidharth Ross. Mithila Palkar is an inspired choice (and I’m biased since I’m Marathi) and Rajkummar as Joey is perfect. I would personally switch Ranveer with Ayushmann. I don’t know why, but that just makes sense in my head. Neena Gupta is everyone’s grandma. For the plot, instead of switching NYC with Mumbai, I would rather the story take place in NYC. Then we would get an extra layer of drama with them being immigrants. I don’t know why, but I have found Indian immigrants tend to find each other in the U.S. and take comfort in being each other’s friends. My parents did that, and that’s why all of my friends are children of Indian immigrants.

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    • I like the idea of moving it to the diaspora, because there’s another part of it too. If they all sort of knew each other before in India, meeting again in America gives them a chance to be more honest and real with each other. That would be a very cool message, wouldn’t it?

      Like, Monica and Ross were never close, she has a fight with her parents and asks Ross if she can come to America to visit him. He says “no”, she is furious,a nd it inspires her to reach out to cool aunt Neena Gupta and ask to stay with her instead (while lying to her parents that she will be staying with Ross and his wife). She arrives in America and learns Ross has been divorced for a year but was afraid to tell anyone and dissapoint his parents. They immediately bond in a way they never did before. In the same way, Rachel was in America for a big fancy destination wedding to her fancy NRI fiance. But when she runs away from the wedding, she has the choice of staying in America with Monica or retreating back to India with her judgemental family. Everyone in India is lied to and told that Rachel got married after all, only the people in America know she is starting fresh. Joey, same thing, he lied to his family that he had a good computer job offer in America, but really he came to try to be an actor. Chandler is the only one whose parents know the truth but that is because they are so weird and unconventional that they wouldn’t care. If anything, they would disapprove of his responsible office lifestyle. And Pheobe can be Neena’s adopted granddaughter, her flakey desi parents wandered in and out of Neena’s life and then they died, Neena tracked down Pheobe and gave her a place to stay.

      Does that make sense? Not just that they cling together from loneliness, but from the shared secret of what they have become overseas versus what their family think they are?

      I also want it set somewhere not New York. I’m just sick of New York set movies is all. What about LA? For Joey’s acting dreams?

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 5:19 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  2. Varun as Joey (muscles and ladies man but still kinda dumb)
    Ayushmann as Chandler (can play goofy really well)
    Shahid as Ross (brainy but boring)

    Sonam as Monica (I agree, she’s so precise and mothering)
    Sara as Rachel (she strikes me as pretty spoiled IRL)
    Kiara as Phoebe

    I love Neena for the ‘Mrs Garrett’ kind of role (now I’m dating myself)

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    • Ooo, yes! Varun as Joey! Most importantly, he can pull out that core of sweet goodness as needed. He’s dumb and ladies man, but also a really good friend.

      Everyone seems to be saying Ayushmann as Chandler, so I will accept that. But I don’t know about Shahid as Ross. Can he pull off the comedy do you think?

      Yes I can see Sara as Rachel!!! Spoiled, but with career yearnings she doesn’t even fully understand. That’s kind of the role she had in Love Aaj Kal 2. And I will accept Kiara as Phoebe, it’s not exactly what she’s done before, but I can believe she can do it.

      On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 7:38 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Ugh, not exactly Friends related, but I was listening to a Sushmita Sen song yesterday and realized she’d be PERFECT as Samantha from Sex and the City. I don’t think I’ve seen a post recasting SATC here, so I spent some time thinking about it.

    Samantha: Sushmita Sen
    Miranda: Bhumi Pedneker. She can seem “plain”, but she has this subtle charm and magnetism that would make her a great Miranda.
    Charlotte: Sonam Kapoor, no question.
    Carrie: This keeps eluding me. Alia is the closest I can think of, but that’s not quite right. I do want Ranbir to be Mr. Big and Natasha to be Katrina, but I don’t know who would go well with those two. Maybe young!Juhi? Maybe Kangana? (I have apparently subconsciously picked women with curly hair, but I genuinely think they’d be good for the part of irresponsible, insane, and sensitive women looking for love).

    Adrian: Aditya Roy Kapoor! He’s handsome, sensitive, intelligent, there’s chemistry, but Carrie doesn’t pick him.
    Steve: Rajkummar Rao? He’s clearly shown he can play the boring and steady side character you’d pick above anyone else. Or Kartik?
    Harry: Varun? Let’s make it awkward that poised Sonam likes someone who’s brash and childish (not that that’s who Varun is, he’s very talented, but he does pick movies where he’s ridiculous)
    Trey: SRK. It would be so Capital-I-Interesting to see Shahrukh playing a character that’s all wealth and success and sexy, but just…isn’t right for Sonam and has interesting issues you wouldn’t associate with him. And that would so show with Sonam.

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  4. Ok I’ll be petty, but Chandler is my favorite and I had a crush on him, and I feel the opposite for Ranveer, so that doesn’t work for me! I don’t have an alternative except young Shahrukh! Young Salman or Varun for Joey. You may hate it but Ranbir for Ross!

    I can go with Sonam for Monica. Katrina for Rachel – she can play ditzy and has the comedic chops I feel. Juhi would be the perfect Phoebe, maybe Swara can do.

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    • Everyone else is saying Ayushmann for Chandler, how do you feel about that?

      On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 6:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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