The Next Best Thing
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Best buddies Abbie (Madonna), a heterosexual yoga instructor, and Robert (Rupert Everett), a gay landscaper, cope with failed relationships, the approach of middle age, and the AIDS-related death of a mutual friend by sticking together as a "family of choice." Drunk one night, they have sex, and when Abbie turns up pregnant, they decide to move in together and raise the child as decidedly unconventional co-parents. Flash forward several years and Abbie begins dating Ben (Benjamin Bratt), an investment banker. The new relationship causes tension between Abbie and Robert that… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A dreary little journey that starts as a cutesy sitcom and nosedives into leaden soap opera."
‑ Chris Garcia, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"This movie remains full of high Hollywood cliches."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"This astonishingly bad tearjerker, a Fannie Hurst weepie with a gay twist, is as phony as a three-dollar bill and just about as entertaining."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Madonna has little charisma as a movie performer."
‑ David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
"A tone-deaf disaster of the first order, poorly acted, written with no sense of shame, clumsily staged and shot, and riddled equally with cliches, embarrassments and shocking lapses in taste, judgment and craft."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Never having decided whether it wants to be comedy or a sentimental hand-wringer, it tries to be both and winds up being neither."
‑ Jay Carr, Boston Globe
"A pleasing but mindless diversion that goes down well with buttered popcorn and a large Coke."
‑ Paul Clinton (,
"Well-intentioned but heavy-handed."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"The best thing for Madonna would be to give up her pursuit of a film career."
‑ Brad Haynes, Orlando Weekly
"Madonna's acting performance is not more or less than average."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"Madonna never emerges as a plausible human being in the movie; she's more like a spokeswoman for a video on alternative parenting lifestyles."
‑ Roger Ebert, At the Movies
"The very first scene in the new Madonna movie The Next Best Thing stumbles and the movie never recovers."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"If you thought Madonna's singing was flat, wait until you see how listlessly she delivers her lines in this film."
‑ Todd Anthony, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Never fully engages the audience on an emotional level."
‑ Jim Judy, Screen It!
"The filmgoer seeking a more credible or profound exploration of the subject matter will be disappointed."
‑ Arthur Lazere,
More reviews for The Next Best Thing on Rotten Tomatoes

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