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Next Best Thing

A movie directed by John Schlesinger

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"Next Best" Went Downhill Fast

  • Mar 21, 2000
Pros: Interesting plot, Rupert Everett and Benjamin Bratt

Cons: Bad ending, some characters unrealistic

If the heroine of this movie had been someone other than Madonna, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As it stands now, with Madonna playing Abbie (essentially HERSELF), it was a so-so movie which made me hate the Material Girl! Madonna plays Abbie, a yoga instructor with a pretentious fake British accent that comes and goes. What a coincidence!

The plot was well-publicized: straight woman with gay friend (Rupert Everett); they get really drunk one night and conceive a child. A boyfriend (Benjamin Bratt) enters the picture and the biological father, who is living with Madonna as her best friend and father of the baby, gets jealous. I liked the premise, which was why I went to see the film, but there is an unnecessary plot twist about three-quarters of the way in, which makes the movie silly from that point on.

Also, the Madonna character was a little too unsympathetic to Rupert. I felt that her character was not realistic. And among my friends, I had the MOST sympathy for her! One of my friends said he has never hated a character in a movie more than he hated Madonna. I wouldn't go that far, but she IS downright irritating. The son is also unrealistic. He asks questions and makes comments like "I hope Daddy knows that I love him," that are obviously way too sophisticated for a six-year-old to make.

Another annoying thing about this movie is that you have to hear them sing "American Pie" over and over. The first scene it is introduced, it is cute, but after a while, it gets very old. I personally despised the song to begin with, but if you like it, you will be offended by Madonna's dance-beat version of it which runs during the credits. It is a no-win situation.

But, overall, I think this movie is worth seeing. It is entertaining and brings up a lot of issues. While Madonna is not strong in the acting department, Rupert Everett puts in a great perfomance. And Benjamin Bratt is a good fit as the "perfect" boyfriend.


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Becky ()
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About this movie


At her job, driving instructor Abbie (Madonna) has no problems getting her students to bend over backwards and tie themselves into knots for her. But in life she can't seem to find anyone to tie the knot with her. Robert (Everett), her best friend and confidant, runs a successful landscaping business but is having equally dismal luck finding his Mr. Right. When Abbie's latest relationship crumbles, she turns to Robert (who happens to be gay) for comfort and advice. They commiserate over a parade of margaritas and martinis, which results in an unexpected tryst. Abbie becomes pregnant and believing, that this may be her one shot at motherhood, decides to have the child. Robert, committed to being a good father, moves in with her, and together they create an unconventional but loving home for their precocious son, Sam (Stumpf). Robert continues to date but keeps parenting as his first priority. Abbie, on the other hand, uses her yoga skills to remain celibate but finally relents when she meets Ben (Bratt), ...
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Director: John Schlesinger
Release Date: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (August 29, 2000)
Runtime: 1hr 48min
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