“The Next Best Thing” has a lot going for it. Rupert Everett is a charming and gay leading man, the script is based on a very cute idea—a straight woman and a gay man decide to have a child. The problem is the leading lady, Evita herself, Madonna, just can’t act. As Evita Peron she won a Golden Globe but she has not acted decently in any movie she has made besides that one role. I was all ready to be entertained by this film and I was entertained by the scenes without Madonna.
The plot in a very concise way goes like this—two best friends, a gay male (Everett) and a straight female (Madonna) spend the night together, she gets pregnant, they have a son whom they raise together and then she meets a straight man she wants to marry and the whole mess gets messier.
The premise for the movie is good but the script is just awful—there is no continuity, the characters are completely underdeveloped and Everett comes out looking as the bad guy. The child is somewhere and we hate everyone in the movie. The bad guy is the bad guy, the good gay guy is the bad guy, the child is the bad guy, and the boyfriend is the bad guy and so on and on. Madonna is obnoxious. For someone who cries all the time she looks beautiful. She plays a woman let down by one man too many and when she sleeps with her gay fried, she gets pregnant. And then the movie slides toward a mudslide. Now I love Madonna—when she sings and she still is looking good but she is not an actress—wait—she is an actress—a lousy one. A stellar cast with Madonna and Everett, Benjamin Bratt and Lynn Redgrave should make a stellar movie. Instead the made a real stinker. Maybe that is why it moved so fast—so we would not see how bad it is. In fact, it is so bad that it is good. Madonna’s vapidity mesmerized me, Benjamin Bratt astounded me at how bad he was, Rupert Everett—I love you but you were terrible and Lynn Redgrave had a few seconds on the screen and was lost.
I rarely give anything a bad review—if something is bad, I choose not to write about it and I would not have written about this movie if I thought it was really bad. But this is not just really bad—it is politically too correct and pitifully awful. Rupert Everett, I am so sorry.