The Next Best Thing
The Next Best Thing, originally a screenplay, is a 2000 American comedy-drama film about two best friends that have a child together and a custody battle years after, and was the final film directed by John Schlesinger. Starring Madonna, Rupert Everett, and Benjamin Bratt, it opened to the #2 position in the North American box office despite its poor ratings.
|The Next Best Thing|
Theatrical release poster for The Next Best Thing
|Directed by||John Schlesinger|
|Written by||Tom Ropelewski|
|Music by||Gabriel Yared|
|Edited by||Peter Honess|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (United States)|
Buena Vista International (international)
Two best friends – one a straight woman, Abbie, the other a gay man, Robert – decide to have a child together. Five years later, Abbie falls in love with a heterosexual man and wants to move away with him and Robert's little boy, Sam, and a nasty custody battle ensues.
- Madonna as Abbie Reynolds
- Rupert Everett as Robert Whittaker
- Benjamin Bratt as Ben Cooper
- Michael Vartan as Kevin Lasater
- Josef Sommer as Richard Whittaker
- Lynn Redgrave as Helen Whittaker
- Malcolm Stumpf as Sam
- Neil Patrick Harris as David
- Illeana Douglas as Elizabeth Ryder
- Mark Valley as Cardiologist
- Suzanne Krull as Annabel
- Stacy Edwards as Finn
- William Mesnik as Ashley
- Linda Larkin as Kelly
The film began as an original screenplay, The Red Curtain, by Tom Ropelewski, which he intended to direct, with his wife Leslie Dixon to produce. It was announced to be made in 1995 with Richard Dreyfuss attached to star as Robert; he dropped out then Helen Hunt was named as female lead to play Abbie. She was eventually replaced by Madonna and then Rupert Everett signed on as star. Filming took place between 23 April and 30 June 1999. It was later claimed the script was extensively rewritten by Ryan Murphy and Rupert Everett.
The film received a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Story elements clash and acting falls short." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average of critics' reviews, the film has rating of 25/100 based on 31 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The film opened at #2 at the North American box office making USD$5,870,387, behind The Whole Nine Yards. The film grossed $14,990,582 domestically and $24,362,772 worldwide on a $25 million budget.
- Worst Director - John Schlesinger (lost to Roger Christian for Battlefield Earth)
- Worst Picture (lost to Battlefield Earth)
- Worst Screenplay - Thomas Ropelewski (lost to Corey Mandell and J.D. Shapiro for Battlefield Earth)
- Worst Screen Couple - Madonna and either Rupert Everett or Benjamin Bratt (lost to John Travolta and "anyone sharing the screen with him" in Battlefield Earth)
|The Next Best Thing (Music from the Motion Picture)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||February 21, 2000|
|Label||Maverick, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Madonna, William Orbit, Various|
|Singles from The Next Best Thing (Music from the Motion Picture)|
The soundtrack album was released by Maverick Records on February 21, 2000. It reached number 34 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart. Madonna was executive producer on the soundtrack and hand-picked all the tracks that appeared. The album boasted two new songs from Madonna, "Time Stood Still" (an original track written and produced with William Orbit) and a cover of Don McLean's "American Pie". The latter track was a #1 around the world, climbing to the top of the charts in the UK, Italy, Australia, Germany, and Japan. The album also included tracks by Moby, Beth Orton, Christina Aguilera, and Groove Armada.
- "Boom Boom Ba" - Métisse
- "Bongo Bong" - Manu Chao
- "Don't Make Me Love You ('Til I'm Ready)" - Christina Aguilera
- "American Pie" - Madonna
- "This Life" - Mandalay
- "If Everybody Looked the Same" - Groove Armada
- "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" - Moby
- "I'm Not in Love" - Olive
- "Stars All Seem to Weep" - Beth Orton
- "Time Stood Still" - Madonna
- "Swayambhu" - Solar Twins
- "Forever and Always" - Gabriel Yared
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||16|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||19|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||55|
|US Billboard 200||34|
- The Next Best Thing at Box Office Mojo
- Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 258-260
- Ebert, Roger (3 March 2000). "The Next Best Thing". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
- The Next Best Thing at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Next Best Thing at Metacritic
- "The Next Best Thing (Awards)". AllMusic. All Media Network. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "> Discography > The Next Best Thing". Madonna.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Austriancharts.at – Soundtrack – The Next Best Thing" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Soundtrack – The Next Best Thing" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Swisscharts.com – Soundtrack – The Next Best Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 June 2017.