In 2004, Monica and Chandler with their twin babies leave their small apartment in New York City and move to a large and comfortable house in the suburbs. Friends give promises to one another that they will continue to meet, though they deeply know that nothing will be the same.
Twenty years later, in 2024, that’s how things are:
Phoebe continues to wander around the streets of New York and live in the way she likes. Her marriage to Mike was dissolved in three years, as Mike was finally bored of her peculiarities. But she also was bored of Mike not understanding her. They have no children. They split very quietly.
Monica and Chandler
Life in the suburbs was initially beautiful, as the couple experienced the middle-class lifestyle and enjoyed it for a while. Chandler, however, presented new particularities that multiplied over time. In the beginning Monica was patient, but in the end she was exhausted. The couple split ten years later, when Chandler told Monica that he wanted to live as a gay man. In 2024 Chandler is dressed like a woman and has cut off his old acquaintances.
Monica, after divorce, grows their children alone. Because she suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, the twins become neurotic with class and cleanliness. In 2024 they are twenty years old, work in casual jobs and watch psychiatrists. Monica has become fat again, because she eats too much, and she is extremely quarrelsome with anyone who approaches her.
Ross and Rachel
They marry and continue to live in the city center but in a more spacious apartment. Ross remained a moderate Professor of Paleontology. Rachel has evolved professionally and holds a high position in a great fashion house. She is deeply bored by Ross and has sometimes tried to divorce him, but Ross who is still in love with her does everything to keep her close to him. Their marriage has been stagnant and exists only formally.
In 2024 their daughter, Emma, is 22 years old, studies and has an affair with a fellow student. She loves her father but has a bad relationship with her mother. She accuses her of being indifferent, self-centered and concerned only with her career.
Ben, Ross’ s son from his first marriage, is 29 years old, plays the piano in a bar and is a user of substances. He has no contacts with his father.
Until the forty-two years of age he still lives in the same apartment, changing his girlfriends every now and then and getting small roles on television. Then he meets Gina, daughter of second-generation Italian immigrants, falls in love with her and marries her. He abandons the bohemian life and the world of spectacle and works in his father's business. He has two sons, 12 and 8 years old.
The only friends who still are in contact are Monica and Ross and that because they are siblings. Ross soberly endures his sister whenever she calls and complains about everything. Monica accuses Rachel of being arrogant and humiliating towards her brother. Rachel and Monica are not in speaking terms.
Chandler moves to different social circles and has no contact with anyone. He does not even see his children. Phoebe and Joy initially met each other from time to time, but later they lost each other.
This must be the course of the six friends. Although they were so different characters, the conditions of life brought them very close, at an age when common goals of youth are love, carelessness, companionship and the sense that the future belongs to them and that it expands in front of them full of surprises and good promises.
But as the years go by, the differences in their character become more and more visible and make it difficult for one another to interact. Life itself enfolds them within certain limits.
Phoebe, for example, cannot tolerate Monica’s and Chandler’s middle-class way of life. Monica and Chandler, on their part, cannot tolerate the peculiarities of Phoebe any more. Joey on the other hand does not fit in their new way of life, as they now have relations with other married couples in the suburbs. Rachel's career development and her new round of acquaintances as well as her indifference to Ross remove the two couples from each other.
Chandler's transformation into a homosexual and later to a transvestite gives the final blow to all the members of the company. The only person that would understand him is Phoebe, but anyway their roads have been separated many years ago.
None of the buddies feel satisfied with his or her life as it is shaped.
Ross never received the recognition he expected from the scientific community. Rachel has her own life and is indifferent to her family. The case of divorce brings terror to Ross, because this will mean his complete failure in his personal life and because he is always in love with her. His son does not want to have any contact with him. His only joy is his daughter. Let’s hope that she will not disappoint him later.
Rachel lives a superficial life with no emotions and tries to be satisfied with her professional success. She would like to divorce Ross, but ultimately she is compatible with the alleged security of their marriage. The conflicts with her daughter is a constant cause of agitation and upset. Without realizing it, Rachel has become again her father's pampered and spoiled daughter.
Chandler, despite having become what he deeply wanted, cannot overcome his guilt. He visits his psychiatrist every week, smokes endlessly and uses substances. We don't know how long he will still live.
Monica has no reason to be happy with her life. Everything went wrong and her compulsive disorder does not let her calm down. She suffers from insomnia, gets up at night and eats what she finds in the fridge.
Phoebe, because of her peculiarity, is not even concerned whether she is satisfied or not with her life. She just lives the way she knows.
The only person who is content with his life is Joey. He lives a peaceful family life, loves his wife and his children and has taken over the business of his father that makes good money. The period that he lived with temporary love affairs and small roles on television has passed irrevocably. Today he remembers all this and smiles. He remembers his friends too. What have they done in their lives, he wonders sometimes. But he does not feel the need to search for them.