WILL & GRACE: BEST OF FRIENDS & FOES
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Eric McCormack as WILL TRUMAN
Debra Messing as GRACE ADLER
Megan Mullally as KAREN WALKER
Sean Hayes as JACK MCFARLAND
Created by: David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Along with the release of the “Best of Love & Marriage” compilation for “Will & Grace,” Lionsgate is also releasing “Will & Grace: Best of Friends & Foes.” This two-disc set includes sixteen episodes with some of the best guest star appearances the show had in its eight-year run. Highlighted guest stars include Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Bacon, Matt Damon, Cher, Michael Douglas, Minnie Driver, Alec Baldwin, Barry Manilow, Britney Spears, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bernhard, Ellen DeGeneres, Molly Shannon, Demi Moore and Kristin Davis.
WHAT I LIKED
Not too long ago, a friend of mine told me that she wished that someone would release a DVD of all the best guest starring roles on “Will & Grace.” When I told her about this double-disc set, she was both excited (because she loved the guest star episodes of the show) and a little bummed (because she felt a little ownership in the idea, and no once consulted her).
My friend also pointed out that while she enjoyed the series, the guest star episodes were some of the best ones produced. And after watching 32 episodes of “Will & Grace” in a concentrated period of time, I tend to agree with her. I believe this is because the best writing was saved for the guest stars. After all, if you’re asking a big name like Michael Douglas, Matt Damon or Kevin Bacon to do a guest spot on your show, you’ll want the best script.
What was so fresh about many of these episodes is that the guest stars, who were sometimes icons of the fan base (like Cher) but more often bigger names than the show (like Jennifer Lopez or Demi Moore), served as a dark horse to shake things up on the episode. It made these often one-shot stories hilariously funny.
Highlights in this set include a straight Matt Damon trying to join the Gay Men’s Chorus, Jack’s unbalanced stalking of Kevin Bacon, Michael Douglas playing a gay cop infatuated with Will, Demi Moore signing on to be Jack’s adult babysitter and Jack explaining to Cher how to do a better drag queen Cher impression.
Even if you never watched the show, you may remember these various episodes. They are some of the funniest ones produced in the series’ lifetime.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
What bothered me about the “Best of Love & Marriage” DVD set wasn’t really present in this one. There was more banter between Karen and Jack, which offered plenty of laughs. Few episodes focused on the softer side of Will and Grace (with the exception of Will’s potential drug addiction and Grace’s failing marriage to Leo).
In fact, the only episodes that played cold to me was when Madonna came on to guest star as Karen’s new, high-maintenance neighbor… but that might just be because I don’t like Madonna. Oh… and there was that guest spot with Wanda Sykes, whom I have never found funny. But at least she was just in one episode.
There are a handful of themed featurettes on the second disc, including spotlights on physical comedy, the cast’s penchant for funny voices, the sounds of comedy, Grace’s inability to sing and Karen’s breasts.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Modern gay men, hags and metrosexuals.