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The Next Best Thing


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Product Details

  • Actors: Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt, Illeana Douglas, Michael Vartan
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Writers: Tom Ropelewski
  • Producers: Gary Lucchesi, Leslie Dixon, Lewis Manilow, Linne Radmin, Marcus Viscidi
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792166736
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,651 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Next Best Thing" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive Cast and Crew Interviews

Editorial Reviews

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), a handsome and charming investment banker. Romance flowers between Abbie and Ben, and as they grow closer Robert feels his role as father threatened. Tensions mount, and when Abbie and Ben announce plans to be wed, the family explodes over a heart-wrenching custody battle for Sam. Everett sparkles and Madonna oozes her usual cool in this drama/comedy from the director of MIDNIGHT COWBOY.

Customer Reviews

This movie was just awful.
chicago mom
Instead of making a profound statement about modern families and gay parents, it avoids the issue altogether and leaves viewer asking "Isn't blood thicker than water?"
Prozebra
Her characters all seem like caricatured extensions of her public persona.
EriKa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carl Sommer on December 7, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Have you ever bought at the stock market when everybody told you to sell - and won? That's what happened to me with this film. After buying almost all of John Schlesinger's films, I hesistated before ordering this one - in view of all that criticism. But then I assumed that - 1) Schlesinger cannot suddenly make a bad film after making so many excellent ones, and - 2) if so many bad things are said about a film it must somehow be good. Luckily, I was right this time.

Perhaps much of all that criticism springs from unjustified expectations. Let me try to put two points right: First: this is not a film about Madonna, or by Madonna. She is just an actress here - and a good one, just right for the part. Schlesinger does not present her as a singer or a sex symbol - but as a person. Secondly: Nobody has made a promise that this will be an in-depth, politically correct exploration of gay life. This is just a film - and an entertaining one. There is no law in the land that says a gay person cannot be at times a trifle ridiculous or sentimental, like other persons.

Therefore I recommend you follow the advice Madonna gives in her part as a Yoga teacher: Take a deep breath and relax - just enjoy this as another very good Schlesinger film - a real work of art.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on October 29, 2000
Format: DVD
Forget about diamonds. `The Next Best Thing' is dedicated to the proposition that a gay man is really a girl's best friend. But, man, can that make life complicated! Madonna stars as Abbie, a Southern California yoga instructor who just can't seem to find that certain someone to provide her with marriage and a child but who, at the same time, hears her biological clock ticking ominously down. Rupert Everett plays Robert, her gay best friend, whom Abbie leans upon for support in times of grave romantic crisis - which seems to be just about her normal state of affairs. One night the two get a little too drunk and frisky and end up consummating their friendship, an act that leads to Abbie's pregnancy and a decision between the two to move in together and raise the child as mother and father but not husband and wife. All goes fairly well for six years or so until Abbie falls in love with a young New York executive who wants to marry her and move the three of them away from Los Angeles and the man Sammy thinks of as his father. This leads to a complex court battle between the principals as the suddenly antagonistic best friends struggle over custody of their child.
In this day and age when less traditional relationships and families abound in our society, credit `The Next Best Thing' with at least trying to come to terms with some of the unintended and unforeseen consequences that result when well-meaning people wind up in overly complicated situations. We see that Abbie obviously has strong feelings for this man she knows she can never have, while Robert feels inexplicable stirrings of jealousy when Abbie begins to develop an interest in her new beau.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
So... I certainly respect everyone's right to have their own opinion, but it boggles my mind how so many of the reviewers seemed to love this film! It was pretty darned bad. While Madonna's "I'm british, no I'm not" accent was somewhat entertaining, her character's complete personality shift 2/3 of the way through made no sense and totally pushed the rest of this already mediocre film downhill. If you think this plot was a good idea, but you want to experience *some* entertainment from it, go rent "The Object Of My Affection."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Little M on April 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I'm a huge fan of Madonna and in the past two years I've become a big fan of Rupert Everett, that's mainly why I bought this video. I wasn't sure what to expect going into the film, mainly because of the bad reviews the movie received after it's release. I give it three stars, solely because I like the two main actors. The script itself has some problems and like the review above mentions, it seems at times it was rushed and almost like a rough draft of a script. I just wasn't buying what some of the characters were saying to each other. It seemed trite, and the language seemed like something straight out of a bad 80's movie. I also disagree with the review above when it states that Madonna is the most relaxed she's ever been in a film! That's so not true, if anything she seemed more tense to me. And what the heck is going on with that accent? Sometimes it was painfully obvious and at other times it seemed to fade. I like her a lot, but she really needs to loosen up, especially in this film. She seemed extremely uptight, not to mention her character becomes downright unlikeable about 2/3 into the movie. As for Rupert (Robert), I liked him and I shared his pain in the movie. This character was very well defined and if anything at all, he makes this movie worth seeing. The plot twist towards the end of the movie threw me a bit and I don't understand where the twist came from, this should have been made more apparent to the audience earlier in the film. Overall, it's a mediocre film, not bad, but not real good either. If you're a fan of either of the main actors, then buy this film. If you're not a big fan, you're better off renting it.
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