162 user 85 critic

The Next Best Thing (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 3 March 2000 (USA)
2:09 | Trailer
Abbie, tired of failed relationships, has a one-night-stand with her gay friend; they agree to raise the resulting baby together.


John Schlesinger


Tom Ropelewski (as Thomas Ropelewski)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Madonna ... Abbie Reynolds
Rupert Everett ... Robert Whittaker
Benjamin Bratt ... Ben Cooper
Illeana Douglas ... Elizabeth Ryder
Michael Vartan ... Kevin Lasater
Josef Sommer ... Richard Whittaker
Malcolm Stumpf Malcolm Stumpf ... Sam
Lynn Redgrave ... Helen Whittaker
Neil Patrick Harris ... David
Mark Valley ... Cardiologist
Suzanne Krull ... Annabel
Stacy Edwards ... Finn
John Carroll Lynch ... Abbie's Lawyer
Fran Bennett ... Judge Tracey Bennett
Ricki Lopez Ricki Lopez ... Angel


A comedy-drama about best friends - one a straight woman, Abbie, the other a gay man, Robert - who decide to have a child together. Five years later, Abbie falls in love with a straight man and wants to move away with her and Robert's little boy Sam, and a nasty custody battle ensues. Written by TexGuy <madonnafan@webtv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Best friends make the best mistakes. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content, partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the original script, Abbie worked as a swimming instructor. After reading it, Madonna decided that the character should be a yoga instructor. See more »


Near the end of the film, when Robert is talking to Ben across the street of Sam's school, Robert's head keeps changing positions between shots. In one shot he is looking toward Ben and in another shot he is looking at the school, then it goes back to the other shot when hes looking at Ben. See more »


Young Girl: I know what a faggot is. That it what my dad calls someone who cuts him off in traffic.
See more »


References Holiday (1938) See more »


Can't Stop
Written by Stan Watson and Donelle McNeil (as Donelle MoNeil)
Performed by Stan Watson
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Master Source
See more »

User Reviews

Pleasant, if unchallenging, watch
30 August 2000 | by ScoopySee all my reviews

This is more or less an extrapolation of the real-life relationship of Madonna to her friend Rupert Everett. To refresh your memory, Everett is the big handsome lug who wants to be the first gay James Bond.

Anyway, the movie Everett (gay, as in real life) and Madonna (straight) are both depressed one night, and they get drunk and get it on and she ends up getting pregnant. She wanted a baby anyway, so she goes through with it, and the gay dad decides to move in with her and be the child's father, although the parents agree to pursue their own lives in other matters. Very enlightened.

Things work out great for many years until Madonna falls in love with a guy who lives in another state. She decides that she can just take her son and go, but Everett and his family don't see it that way. They go through some ugliness, and some family court battles, and the movie is about their attempts to resolve the matter.

I guess you can deduce from that summary whether you want to spend any time on this slice-of-life character based comedy/drama.

Madonna dances only around the living room, and she sings only briefly and informally (although this quiet duet with Rupert Everett, over the casket at a friend's funeral, was the best scene in the movie.)

I thought parts of this film were quite touching, it was slickly produced, there was some humor, and the characters were developed quite well. I didn't mind watching it at all, and never touched the remote. Believe it or not, screen legend John Schlesinger (Billy Liar, Midnight Cowboy, and many other fine films) directed this movie. He is now in his mid 70's.

The biggest negative, in my book: Madonna now speaks exclusively in perfectly modulated tones with her new refined accent. This would be fine if she were doing public service announcements, but it is much too stiff to bring vitality to a character, and she seems to deliver all her lines with the hollow self-awareness of a Stepford Wife. I don't really understand it. To me, Madonna's great success was generated by her vitality and daring. Now that's all under control and she delivers every line like one of those official spokespersons for the British royal family. Huh?

She has some talent, and I don't see why she needs this facade to hide behind. I'd like to see Madonna do a Jessica Lange - let us see her as a person, breasts sagging a bit, face dirty, makeup running, hair unkempt, face contorted with rage, whatever is really deep down underneath the stylish clothing and the Henry Higgins articulation lessons.

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English | French

Release Date:

3 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Red Curtain See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,870,387, 5 March 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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