Projections - Movie Reviews

The Next Best Thing The Next Best Thing

Advertised as a light-hearted comedy, the film turns into a weepy child custody battle before you know it.

Madonna, although fine when she is romping around as a free-spirited single, lacks real emotion during more serious scenes.  She plays Abbie, a yoga instructor who is constantly choosing the wrong guy.

When another of her relationships bites the dust, she turns to her best friend Robert (Rupert Everett), a gay gardener, for comfort.

After a night of dancing and drinking leads to sex between Abbie and Robert, she soon discovers she's pregnant and persuades Robert to move in and become a father to their new son.

Robert continues his gay lifestyle (Neil Patrick Harris co-stars as a gay friend) and for six years everything is great for the unconventional family until Abbie falls in love with investment banker Ben (Benjamin Bratt) and wants to move to New York with her son.

The possible negative consequences arising from a gay man and a straight woman raising a child together are never discussed before the two plunge into their arrangement with two feet.  Only at the end of the film when forced to deal with his custody, do they realize their mistakes.

What most likely started out as an attempt at an open-minded, modern romantic comedy, is instead an unfunny story of two selfish people and the courtroom hearing is an unbelievable ending to it all.

Everett is a good actor, but this role is not one of his best, and Madonna should not give up her singing career.

The Next Best Thing