The Next Best Thing

This article is about the 2000 film. For the 2007 TV series, see The Next Best Thing (TV series). For the Ray Wilson album, see The Next Best Thing (album).
The Next Best Thing

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Schlesinger
Produced by
Written by Thomas Ropelewski
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography Elliot Davis
Edited by Peter Honess
Distributed by Paramount Pictures (USA)
Touchstone Pictures (international)
Release dates
  • March 3, 2000 (2000-03-03)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $24,362,772[1]

The Next Best Thing is a 2000 American comedy-drama film, the final film directed by John Schlesinger. It stars Madonna, Rupert Everett, and Benjamin Bratt. It was a critical failure.


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.



The film began as an original screenplay, The Red Curtain, by Thomas 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 as star; he dropped out then Helen Hunt was named as female lead. 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.[2]


Although it was made to be a sympathetic story about gay people worked on in part by two openly gay men behind the scenes (director John Schlesinger and costar Rupert Everett), the film was brutally slammed by critics. Roger Ebert gave the film one star, stating: "The Next Best Thing is a garage sale of gay issues, harnessed to a plot as exhausted as a junkman's horse."[3]

The film holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states: "Story elements clash and acting falls short."[4] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has a 25/100 rating, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[5] In Leonard Maltin's annual movie rating book, the film is given a BOMB rating.

Box office

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.[1]


Madonna won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress, and the film was nominated for other Razzies including:

It was nominated as Outstanding Film at the 2001 GLAAD Media Awards, but lost to Billy Elliot.


The Next Best Thing
(Music from the Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released February 21, 2000
Recorded November 1999
Genre Soundtrack, pop, electronica, dance
Length 49:31
Label Maverick, Warner Bros.
Producer Madonna, William Orbit, Various
Singles from The Next Best Thing
  1. "American Pie"
    Released: March 3, 2000

The Next Best Thing' is a soundtrack album released by Maverick Records on February 21, 2000. It was released to accompany and promote the 2000 film, The Next Best Thing. It reached number 34 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart.[6]

Madonna was executive producer on the soundtrack and hand-picked all the tracks that appear. The soundtrack went to number 34 on the Billboard 200 and spawned one new single from Madonna. 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.[6]

  1. "Boom Boom Ba" - Métisse
  2. "Bongo Bong" - Manu Chao
  3. "Don't Make Me Love You ('Til I'm Ready)" - Christina Aguilera
  4. "American Pie" - Madonna
  5. "This Life" - Mandalay
  6. "If Everybody Looked the Same" - Groove Armada
  7. "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" - Moby
  8. "I'm Not in Love" - Olive
  9. "Stars All Seem to Weep" - Beth Orton
  10. "Time Stood Still" - Madonna, William Orbit
  11. "Swayambhu" - Solar Twins
  12. "Forever and Always" - Gabriel Yared

See also


  1. 1 2 The Next Best Thing at Box Office Mojo
  2. Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 258-260
  3. Ebert, Roger (3 March 2000). "The Next Best Thing Movie Review (2000) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  4. The Next Best Thing at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. The Next Best Thing at Metacritic
  6. 1 2 "> Discography > The Next Best Thing". Retrieved 2013-12-05.
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