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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 11 July 2017
This is not the best film ever made, but nor is it as bad as many reviewers would have you believe. The problem really seems to be the marketing of the film. Labeling it as romance and comedy leads viewers to expect a fluffy romcom with a happy ending that will leave everybody in a good place and the audience with a smile on their faces. But this film is a relationship drama. You know right from the start that Robert (Rupert Everett) is Abbie's (Madonna) gay best friend, not a potential new boyfriend.

She has just broken up with her partner, he consoles her. After a few drinks they spend a night together (which the audience knows is a mistake, not a U-turn in sexual orientation for Robert) and soon after Abbie finds she's pregnant. They decide to live together, without any pretense of being anything else than what they are, and bring up their child together. Robert has his affairs, which Abbie tolerates, but he does his best to be a good father to his son. However, when Abbie meets a man and decides to move across the country to New York with him, planning to bring her son with her, an ugly custody battle ensues. And while so far everybody has been on their best behaviour playing happy families, albeit with a difference, now the uglier side of human nature comes to the fore and the young boy is left between two fighting parents. As is sadly often the case in the real world.

Rupert Everett and Madonna as the two leads work just fine. Theirs aren't award winning performances, but they both look good on the screen and the dynamics in their dysfunctional ralationship/family in the film felt very real. If you're looking for an upbeat little romcom, stay away from this, but if you like the actors and are good with a drama that goes to darker places, this may work for you very well.
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on 24 July 2004
Tsk! This film is almost as bad as Swept Away. Once again the script is terrible and once again Madonna cannot act. Purely dreadful. By the end, I was so bored that I did the ironing!!
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on 8 March 2001
The Next Best Thing was slightly dissapointing as not very much seemed to actually happen through the course of the film. The plot was rather weak and predictable at times, but it has some funny moments. The main actors performances were very convincing, especially Rupert Everett's, although Madonna's acsent was some what confusing - was she surposed to be English? The ending of the film is quite sad as we see the idealised vision of gay man and best friend raising a child together eventually failing, and as with so many Hollywood films the gay figure is portrayed as being unable to fit into 'normal' society. On reflection the film was not as bad as has been made out, it has the ability to make you laugh and cry, and if you don't expect too much you will be pleasently surprised.
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on 26 October 2001
I was just going to type the word 'rubbish' 100 times, but that would not be very constructive.
Please do not waste any money on this film. Even if you're a Madonna fan (though there can't be that many fans who rate her acting over her music) you will be disappointed.
The film's premise has already been used, to much better effect, in The Object of My Affection with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.
Rupert Everett seems like a lovely man and a good actor, though I don't see how this can have been a challenging role.
The problem is Madonna. She CANNOT act and she shouldn't be allowed to keep having a go at it. Movie goers are not (in the main) idiots and just because someone is famous for one thing, it does not mean they will attract crowds to other art forms they are involved in.
Over many years, Madge has proved she cannot act for toffee. She is always wooden and never exudes any warmth or humility. I therefore don't care what happens to her character in this film or any other she has been in.
I wish someone would just tell her not to bother with the acting and get on with what she does best - exploiting any up and coming trend in music to make it seem like she invented it.
Do not touch this with someone else's barge pole. It is pants.
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on 4 September 2004
Well, by now, you all know what this film is about. You've all heard the press reviews, the slating, the bitching, I'm sure. But let me tell you, as objectively as I can, being a HUGE Madonna fan, that this film really isn't that bad.
Let me start by saying that I think it's unfair of anyone to say that Madonna cannot act. We've all seen Evita, and as much as it was a dangerous gamble re-creating a musical on screen, Madonna shone in that - and has the Golden Globe to prove it. Yet we still go on about how terrible an actress she is. The trouble with someone as successful as Madonna, and as creative and fortunate as Madonna, is that when she does something that doesn't quite match the standard to which we expect it is BIG news! Finally, she's not as good as everyone is saying. She isn't the Genius everyone says she is. Having this ammunition is great for detractors and people who don't really like Madonna. It always gets raked up.
However, Madonna doesn't shine so much in this film. What is apparent from time to time in this film is her comic timing (something which I think was visibly impressive, yet totally inappropriate in Swept Away) which is actually quite good. Personally I'd like to see Madonna in a proper good rom-com - something like My Best Friends Wedding could be perfect for her to turn her hand to - let's not forget that even an Oscar-winning actress like Julia Roberts has played her fair share of non-credible yet totally fabulous roles. Madonna, like with her music, wants to be the best. She wants adoration, recognition, appreciation (the Kabbalah seriously hasn't affected her appetite and ambition in that sense) and perhaps she won't actually find it in acting.
With this in mind, she could still be a good actress, starring in fun, up-beat films that people like. Evita was a bolt of lightening, and we all know it never strikes twice. As much as I love seeing what Madonna does on screen, I would have preferred Evita to either come in 10 years time, or have been her swansong of the Movie World.
This is simply a bad script. It could stand to be properly re-written, enhanced, given serious budget, production and been a longer, more in-depth film. We barely touch on some of the emotional content available, let alone the hideously rushed story. The film's first half is an extravagant, exciting and funny look at a relationship that is all to often overlooked - the gay man and his straight, female best friend - a movie version of Will & Grace, which I think EVERYONE loves! But it all too quickly descends into drama and pain, and never really comes back from that, although the ending shows that things may get better, even though no one really wins. How did it all get so bad? So bitchy? So QUICKLY!!! I could stand to watch more of these characters (Lynn Redgrave is fabulous as Everett's Landscaper's mother, and his son, Sam, played by Malcolm Stumpf is a dream) if we were able to just invest a bit more in them. The acting was okay from the two leads, and I have to say that I only really cringed once, and that was at Everett, who in an emotional scene after a funeral displays some of the worst acting I have EVER seen. Madonna, when not much is expected from her, is quite good.
I agree that this film could have been lots better, and with this in mind, so could most of Madonna's movie ventures. She has a real talent in the movie world. The talent being to pick the wrong movies to act in!!! Both of the leads should stick to comedy, romance and music as their movie genres, and leave the serious stuff to those who know what to do with it.
After all, Emma Bunton will never be Madonna, so how can Madonna expect to be Meryl Streep?
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on 18 February 2010
This is the story of a gay man (Rupert Everett) and his best friend (Madonna) who sleep together and then she becomes pregnant. They decide to raise the child who they name Sam together. After 6 years of raising Sam together the best friend, mother to the gay man's child meets Mr. Right. However Mr. Right wants to move to New York for his Carrer and wants best friend and Sam to move with him.

It is an emotional story that made me laugh and cry. I would recommend you see it, if you haven't already.
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on 20 August 2005
hmmm... neither madly for or against Madonna/Rupert Everett, I can honestly say this film didn't know what it was - romantic comedy or political statement, which it is neither. Eventually you have no compassion for either character, as the direction of the film is confusing and both characters end up appearing selfish and vain! That is not saying anything bad about the acting of anyone in the film - it's just a lousy plot, and disastrously directed! Only for die-hard Madonna fans - at a push!
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on 18 January 2004
An enormously creaky movie. It's one fascination - why is Madonna's face so obviously spotlit in her closeups?
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on 7 January 2016
Reading some of the reviews I thought this film would be rubbish. It was great to watch with good performances from Rupert Everett and Madonna with a good and convincing performance by a young boy called Malcolm Stumpf (Star of "Wild Tigers i Have Known (a brilliant film) ). Though I could find no mention of his name on the DVD case, when he was one of the leading actors. A film I will watch again and again.
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on 30 September 2011
When abbie played by madonna has a baby with her best gay friend played by rupert everret trauma is just round the corner. This film isnt the best ever on celluloid ,but it raises issues and is a fine watch. Possibly more a chick flick - but i found it good and enjoyed it.
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