Friends Reunion review: ‘Like catching up with mates – it only makes you miss them more’

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It’s been the question on the lips of Friends fans ever since the much-loved US comedy came to an end in 2004 – could a reunion ever live up to the humongous hype?

So, we’re pleased to report that Friends: The Reunion – the documentary that reunites the show’s mega stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – is a lovely, nostalgic ride.

Just like an episode of the award-winning show that defined a generation, there are moments in the much-anticipated one-off special that will make you laugh but also cry, as the cast’s genuine and lasting bond radiates through the screen.

However, while it’s a big, over produced celebration hosted by British presenter James Corden, it’s only when the gang are interacting alone on the iconic sets that the magic truly happens.

The show starts as the six stars walk back into the studio one by one after seventeen years apart, greeting each other with warm hugs and brimming tears as the memories immediately come flooding back.

And it’s exactly the same for the viewer, as we wait nervously, tapping our feet impatiently, to see Jennifer, Courteney, Lisa, Matt, David and Matthew back together after seventeen years.

When they do all come face to face, that undeniable chemistry comes bubbling back to the surface – an X Factor you still can’t put your finger on – as they begin to discuss memories and behind-the-scenes secrets.

For us, too, iconic scene after iconic scene flashes in front of our eyes, just as if it was our very own school reunion.

Soon, we remember it all – when Ross and Rachel were ‘on a break’ (or were they?!), when Phoebe caught Monica and Chandler kissing, ugly naked guy… basically when the Friends felt like our extended family.

This footage is interlaced with largely unnecessary interviews and montages of how the show has impacted fans around the globe that leave the show slightly overstaying its welcome as the running time hits an hour and 44 minutes.

While many diehard fans were disappointed to hear that the cast wouldn’t be stepping back into the shoes of their equally famous alter-egos for a full reboot, there are plenty of segments that will scratch that itch.

They include a trivia competition and a pitch-perfect table-read of the show’s most celebrated moments, where the actors slip seamlessly back into their characters.

A special shout out also goes to Lisa, who miraculously manages to turn back the years and transform straight back into Phoebe right in front of our eyes.

Another of our favourite moments sees Lisa reunite with her trusty guitar.

The group’s infectious laughter when watching a specially-made blooper reel speaks for fans everywhere.

Reflecting on the reunion in their chat with James, David says: “We all just fell right into our same old joking around, we’re a family.”

Jennifer adds: “It’s been so fantastic and exciting and we’ve just slipped right back, as we usually do.”

And their heartfelt words sum it up nicely. Just like catching up with real-life old mates, it only makes you miss them more – and we pray that this isn’t the last time we get to witness the magic that happens when all six Friends are alone together in the same room.

Watch Friends: The Reunion on Sky One and streaming service NOW from Thursday 27 May

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