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The Next Best Thing

Director:John Schlesinger
Writer:Thomas Ropelewski
Paramount Pictures; PG-13; 107 minutes
Release:3/00
Cast:Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt

The Next Best Thing pairs real-life buddies Madonna and Rupert Everett as an odd couple (she's straight, he isn't) who conceive a child during a night of debauchery and consolation and decide to raise it together. It's light fare that indicates the mainstreaming of gay culture more than anything else. Everett holds his up lofty presence and Madonna looks and acts like an actress. Then a third-party intervention in the form of a possible husband to Madonna's character throws the film off course. When Ben (Benjamin Bratt) wants to marry Abbie (Madonna), the divide between her and Robert (Everett) grows until legal battle must be waged. Prior to this point, the movie was decent. But the script, unsure of itself, throws in contrived drama which helps no one.


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