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The Next Best Thing
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Madonna, Rupert Everett
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Nope.
Date Movie: Nope.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope.
Gratuitous Violence: Nope.
Action: Nope.
Laughs: Nope.
Memorable Scene: None.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: John Schlesinger
Produced By: Tom Rosenberg, Leslie Dixon, Linne Radmin

The Next Best Thing
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:50 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I usually don’t read other reviewers reviews before I review a movie for the simple fact that I don’t want to inadvertently say the same thing they said, but for some reason I read Roger Ebert’s review of "The Next Best Thing" before I went to see it. Other than finding myself agreeing with him on many counts, the one thing he brought up that I had to so much agree with was who can get up the next morning after a drinking binge ending up with sleeping together and not need to get a couple of aspirin. Anyway, this was just one of the things I couldn’t put together after watching "The Next Best Thing."

Here we go. "The Next Best Thing" has Robert (Rupert Everett) and Abbie (Madonna). Abbie, and for that matter Robert, are both reaching that age where they can’t stand it that they haven’t found Mr. and well, Mr. Right. Abbie wants a kid and a husband, and Robert just wants a life partner, but Robert and Abbie are best friends, and one night after drinking too many cocktails they end up trashing one of Robert’s clients fancy pad and then, well, sleeping together. Yea, you guessed it, Abbie’s pregnant, Robert is supposed to be the father, and Abbie says she’s having the baby and wants Robert to be the dad. Robert bites and they are all living happily ever after until a few years later when Sam (Malcolm Stumpf), their son, grows up a few years and wonders why mom and dad aren’t like other moms and dads, and Abbie falls in love with some dude who lives in New York but is in LA on business. Does this scream potential problem that Abbie will want to move to New York and take Sam with her leaving dad Robert behind? Duh. So, yea, you now get Robert going to court as a single, gay man, trying to get custody of his son away from the mother who is a good mother, entering into a marriage relationship with a guy with a stable job. What chance in hell does Robert have? Duh. None. There is another stupid twist in the story line, but I won’t spoil it for you just in case you do go see this movie, which I highly recommend you don’t.

I say don’t see this movie not because it isn’t trying to break new ground, the likes of the mom and dad happily raising a kid even though mom and dad aren’t sleeping together, the likes of questioning if a care-giver should have the rights of a father, the likes of how do you tell kids nowadays about alternative lifestyles, and the likes of people usually forgetting what the child may want. The movie does try to do all of this, except it does it so poorly that I just couldn’t take it anymore. The main problem I had with "The Next Best Thing" – trying to make the movie lighthearted and cute while taking on topics that are anything but. My suggestion would have been to make this movie as a deep drama, with actors and actresses who can make you really care about the outcome, instead of the happy-go-lucky approach turning into a court case based on a potential new reality but which you can’t really care about because Robert has no chance in hell with his lawyer.

That may have been a little confusing, but all I can say it they tried to make very topical and very controversial subjects and make them light-hearted enough that you really don’t care who gets the kid. I just wanted the movie to end, because I knew Robert would eventually be able to see Sam again, and they would all live happily ever after which probably wouldn’t happen in any reality. I give "The Next Best Thing" 1 star out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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