Platonic: Is the Comedy Show Based on Real People?

A Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco creation, the Apple TV+ comedy-drama series ‘Platonic’ follows the story of Will (Seth Rogen) and Sylvia (Rose Byrne), who were once best friends but had a falling out because Sylvia and Will’s wife Audrey didn’t like each other. After Sylvia discovers that Will and Audrey have recently divorced, she decides to reach out to her old friend for the encouragement of her husband. Their initial meeting is riddled with awkwardness, but as time passes and they relearn things about each other, it doesn’t take long for them to fall back to their old pattern. However, Sylvia and Will are at a completely different stage of their lives, and their renewed friendship brings trouble to other aspects of their everyday existence.

Set in and around Los Angeles, ‘Platonic’ is a thoughtful exploration of middle-aged friendship, love, marriage, and relationships in general. If you are wondering whether it is based on true events, we got you covered.

Origin of Platonic: Inspired by Creators’ Experience

No, ‘Platonic’ is not based on a true story. Stoller and Delbanco share writing credits for the show with staff writer Judy Choi, story editor Brittany Miller, and writers Guy Endore-Kaiser, Andrew Gurland, Justin Nowell, and Ron Weiner. Stoller and Delbanco are not only writing and creative partners, they are also husband and wife. Years ago, they attended a joint bachelor-bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Even though Delbanco was a good friend of the groom-to-be and closer to him than to his future bride, when the bachelor and bachelorette parties split to go in different directions, she had to follow the latter group because she was a woman. This experience remained with her throughout the years and became the foundation for the ‘Platonic’ script.

“I went with her, but I was there not because I had known her — I was there because I was a friend of his,” Delbanco told the New York Times. “I remember thinking, ‘Why does it have to be that way?’” Stoller previously worked with Rogen and Byrne on the two commercially and critically successful ‘Neighbors’ films, where the two actors play spouses. Even though they portray best friends in ‘Platonic,’ the easy and engaging chemistry between them is very much there. The two actors also serve as executive producers on the project.

Reflecting on his chemistry with Byrne, Rogen told the Nerds of Color, “I mean, we know each other well. I think one of the things people liked about our relationship in ‘Neighbors’ was that we portrayed a couple who seemed like they really liked each other as friends and you know, there was conflict between them, but it wasn’t born of this like loathing for one another that I think a lot of married couples had portrayed up until then.”

The Fabelmans’ actor continued, “ So the idea of being platonic friends who kind of egg each other on and get along very well, but also elevate one another’s kind of madness was — it just felt like it would work really well.” Given its plot, ‘Platonic’ is bound to draw comparisons with the 1989 romantic comedyWhen Harry Met Sally….’ While the classic film ends in romance, the Apple TV+ series doesn’t have that by design, though there is some underlying sexual tension between the two characters and the effects their chaotic relationship has on people around them.

In the interview with the New York Times, Delbanco spoke about a second incident in Las Vegas that served as an inspiration for the show. Before the pandemic happened, Delbanco was in the City of Second Chances with two straight, married male friends. “It was really fun, and I don’t think Nick [Stoller]was thinking, ‘Why are you in Las Vegas with those friends?’” she recalled. “We just had a great time, but a lot of people were like, ‘Wait, where is your husband?’” So, to sum it up, ‘Platonic’ is not based on a true story, but a couple of incidents in Las Vegas provided the inspiration.

Read More: Platonic Episodes 1, 2, and 3 Recap and Ending, Explained