The Next Best Thing - Movie Review

  • 01 November 2005

Rating: 2 out of 5

Can it really have been two long years since The Object of My Affection made us laugh and cry with its tale of two best friends (an unlucky in love gal and her gay male roommate) and how they decide to have a baby together? Er... so we didn't laugh. And we didn't cry. And The Next Best Thing takes us there once again, with an even lamer attempt at making "The Oddest Couple Has a Baby."

Fortunately, The Next Best Thing covers very different ground than Affection. Unfortunately, that ground turns out to be providing a platform for Madonna to sing, to show off her yoga skills, and To Show You How Much She Can E-Mote During Her Di-A-Logue, all while affecting a slight (yet very pretentious) British accent. Get outta the way, people, Madonna's gonna act!!! And it isn't going to be pretty. (See also: Evita.)

Rupert Everett tries to be a good sport, but he mainly serves as a punching bag for Ms. Ciccone and ends up being the butt of his own gay jokes. The movie insults his prodigious acting skills and makes a mockery of his ability.

What's worst is that viewers probably expect a romantic comedy out of this, judging from the subject matter and the trailer. Not so. While a few early scenes throw you a few bones of decent comedy, The Next Best Thing rapidly turns into the least funny of scenarios: The child custody battle. Believe me, this is not Kramer Vs. Kramer.

What is it, then? It's a sloppy mess of a star vehicle that will leave only Madonna's awful remake of "American Pie" as its legacy. And as Don McLean said in his song, boy is this levy dry.

Everett and Madonna prepare for their roles by drinking heavily.

Image caption The Next Best Thing

Facts and Figures

Year: 2000

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd March 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $24.4M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Lakeshore Entertainment

Reviews 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 74

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John Schlesinger

Producer: Leslie Dixon, Linne Radmin, Tom Rosenberg

Screenwriter: Tom Ropelewski

Starring: Madonna as Abbie Reynolds, Rupert Everett as Robert Whittaker, Benjamin Bratt as Ben Cooper, Malcolm Stumpf as Sam, Josef Sommer as Richard Whittaker, Suzanne Krull as Annabel, Linda Larkin as Kelly

Also starring: Leslie Dixon, Linne Radmin, Tom Rosenberg, Tom Ropelewski