The Next Best Thing


Directed by: John Schlesinger
Written by:Tom Ropelewski
Starring: Rupert Everett, Madonna, Benjamin Bratt, Michael Vartan, Lynn Redgrave
Released: May 18, 2000
Grade: C-

Robert (Everett) is gay and doesn’t have a lot of luck when it comes to relationships.  Abbie (Madonna) is in a similar boat and has just broken up with her current squeeze.  She’s reached that stage in her life where she wants kids but just can’t meet the right guy.  Robert and Abbie are best friends and one evening, whilst comforting each other, they end up sleeping together.

Abbie falls pregnant and the two agree to keep the baby and raise it together.  Everything is smooth sailing for a few years and the three live happily together.  That is until Abbie meets Mr. Right, Ben (Bratt), providing a very awkward situation.  Just how is the relationship going to work now and will their son be affected?

This film is as bad as it gets.  Director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) had absolutely no idea what he was doing and the direction is completely lifeless.  I was almost stunned at first by the mediocrity of the screenplay - it was ludicrous.  From there, it only got worse as the film becomes nasty and loses the comedy for a more dramatic ending.

Usually when a film has you asking questions upon conclusion, it’s considered provocative.  This monstrosity was asking a lot of questions of myself but not the type you’d think.  Who wrote this crap?  How did this film ever get studio approval?  Why did Madonna agree to star?  Does anything in this film have a point?  Why are people laughing at this?  Am I ever going to get out of here?  Help me!!!