The Next Best Thing (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Next Best Thing2000

The Next Best Thing (2000)



Critic Consensus: Story elements clash and acting falls short.

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Movie Info

Madonna and Rupert Everett star in this comic drama about a mismatched couple whose unconventional choices lead to an unusual dilemma. Abbie (Madonna) and Robert (Rupert Everett) are best friends, but since Robert is gay, their friendship never progresses into a romance. However, both Abbie and Robert desperately want to be parents, and they agree to have a child that they will raise together. This raises a few eyebrows, especially from Robert's mother (Lynn Redgrave) and Vera (Illeana Douglas), a close friend of Robert's who is secretly in love with him and wants the sort of relationship with him that he has with Abbie. Robert and Abbie go through with their plan, but when Robert meets and falls in love with another man, he decides he wants custody of the child, setting in motion a bitter dispute. Everett co-wrote the screenplay for The Next Big Thing; it was Everett's first produced screenplay, though he previously published a novel.

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as Abbie Reynolds
Rupert Everett
as Robert Whittaker
Illeana Douglas
as Elizabeth Ryder
Lynn Redgrave
as Helen Whittaker
Josef Sommer
as Richard Whittaker
Mark Valley
as Cardiologist
John Carroll Lynch
as Abbie's Lawyer
Tiffany Paulsen
as Young Mother
Joan Axelrod
as Bel Air Matron
George Axelrod
as Bel Air Man
Jack Betts
as Vernon
Father Terrance Sweeney
as Priest at Funeral
Anna Garduno
as Coffee Shop Waitress
Frank James
as Dad at Airport
Tom Burke
as Tom, Annabel's Husband
Benjamin Koldyke
as Kelly's Boyfriend
Marie Chambers
as Party Guest No. 1
Lucas Lee Krost
as Party Guest No. 2
Glenn Tannous
as Party Guest No. 3
Jessica Sara
as Kid No. 3
Holly Houston
as Yoga Student
Laurent Schwaar
as Restaurant Manager
Patrick Price
as Maitre D'
Jay Karnes
as Kevin's Lawyer
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Critic Reviews for The Next Best Thing

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (31)

The two stars may be great pals in life, but there's little magic in their on-screen partnership.

March 6, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Never having decided whether it wants to be comedy or a sentimental hand-wringer, it tries to be both and winds up being neither.

January 1, 2000

[Madonna] can barely muster even the rudiments of human expression.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Two movies in one, and there's not enough breathing room for both of them.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/5

Terminally slow-moving.

January 1, 2000

After the melodrama kicks in, the film turns disastrously sappy.

January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for The Next Best Thing


[font=Arial][color=darkred]The Next Best Thing' offers viewers the chance to see an off-kilter romance and drama about the raising of children through standards alternative to modern society. Whatever, it sounded good on paper. What you get, of course, is implausible and dismal politically correct drivel served cold.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Madonna and Rupert are the best of buds, but he's gay. So of course it's only nature and a matter of time before they sleep together and get pregnant. They decide to disclose the idenity of the daddy and raise the child together. Why they never went with the Virgin Birth angle is beyond me. So they raise it. And they do. Madonna dates and brings home strange men to make strange noises through walls. Who says the family is in trouble? Then the Material Girl wants said child for herself... and it pretty much veers further into absurd soap opera from there on out.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]The premise is a rip-off of the earlier 'The Object of My Affection', which in turn was a rip-off of 'Chasing Amy'. Get prepared for countless scenes of Madonna and Rupert galavanting about like they're in a perpetual slumber party. Never in recent memory has a more awkward film been so damn preachy. It's a never ending soapbox of sermons about family values and gay rights. Wonderful -- but if I'm not mistaken wasn't there supposed to be a story somewhere?[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]The movie resides as one half comedy (?) then one half drama, neither of which is consistant let alone entertaining. Somewhere there's a violent jolt into an out-of-place 'Kramer vs. Kramer' courtroom battle royale. If the audience is supposed to feel for Madonna's character then nothing like a selfish child custody battle to win the hearts of everyone![/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Who's the victim in this? Not the child - it's the audience.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Rupert Everett may be the only redeeming part of this uneven and mushy dramedy of lapsed judgement. His charm is evidant and his leading-man ability carries the film as long as he can until it implodes on itself. I could clearly hear sighs around me of "If only he weren't gay." in the theater. Go Rupert. At least someone has some acting ability instead of an excuse to sell soundtracks.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Madonna is clearly the biggest hinderance in 'The Next Best Thing'. Whenever she speaks it's like she's reciting lines into a mirror. Madonna has some mysterious British accent she seems to have picked up and is as wooden as a board./color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]If 'The Next Best Thing' really is the next best thing for Madonna's struggling film career, I'd suggest her next best thing would be to quit. And pray to the other Madonna while doing it. At least she would have enough sense not to do a silly remake of 'American Pie'.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: D+ [/color][/font]

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Rupert and Madonna re friends who have a drunken night.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Will someone PLEASE tell Madonna to stick to the day job?? She's just embarrassing herself...and someone should tell Rupert Everett that having an english accent isn't enough to carry a film outside of the US' female demographic.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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