Dodgy ending aside, How I Met Your Mother can rank among the finest US network sitcoms of the 21st century. At its best, the formally daring show had heart without the schmaltz, pacy, knowing comedy, and best of all, a great cast of characters.
The core was built around five familiar performers who’d go on to become bonafide stars, but the high concept sitcom had a deep bench, and filled its ranks with fantastic guest stars, recurring parts, and beloved supporting players.
But the question with any long running sitcom is: what next? Traditionally, the answer would be to step onto the big screen, something each of the main cast has managed to do with at least some success. There have also been some pretty traumatising failures, too.
In looking to springboard their way into major motion pictures, the following ten movies were most certainly not what these talented actors had in mind. They can’t all be winners, and everyone’s allowed a couple of duds on their resumes, but even the most ardent HIMYM fans will find little to enjoy about these turkeys.
10. The Smurfs
How I Met Your Mother’s secret weapon was the revitalised Neil Patrick Harris. Finally shedding the shackles of his Doogie Howser childhood, he was a revalation as the catchphrase laden womaniser Barney Stinson. An actor with rare energy, it’s no surprise that he’s had perhaps the finest career post-sitcom.
His obvious passion for performing may explain his decision to take the live action lead in the excerable The Smurfs (and its sequel - a glutton for punishment, this one). He plays Patrick Winslow, a New Yorker and expectant father whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a load of charmless CGI Smurfs.
The dynamic Harris is tasked with standing around and looking dismayed as as-yet unrendered blue gnomes tear around his apartment, causing havoc, and ultimately teaching him a lesson about fatherhood or some such saccharine slop.
He’s absolutely fine in the part, and one would hope the paycheque was hefty enough, but this is a blip on an otherwise excellent second act of a career. Perhaps he did it to entertain his own kids - we can’t imagine even they got much out of this, though.