The Next Best Thing

By Mark Ramsey | 2000/03/05

Talk about a lucky star.

This is The Next Best Thing all right, the next best thing to a movie worth seeing. As Bart Simpson would say, I didn’t think it was possible, but this both sucks and blows!

Madonna, of course, is famous for shedding images the way small screen lesbians Michelle Williams and Cloë Sevigny shed tube tops. Man oh man, girls, if these walls could talk they’d shout: “More windows!”

Isn’t Madonna a little old for the Sandra Bullock roles? Here, she’s the apple of Benjamin Bratt’s eye – an eye which is in dire need of a corrective lens.


Ben, of course, is Julia Roberts’ main squeeze, and word has it that this is one project Julia turned down. It’s hard to get excited about a project that has bounced in and out of more actresses laps than Leo DiCaprio on the Riviera.

Ben is pretty much the perfect male, and thus an extremely unlikely paramour for Madonna. So perfect is he, a close inspection of his bare chest reveals the towing hooks used to suspend him in the factory assembly line as a team of engineers riveted components to his frame. Ben, are you nuts? This material girl’s fabric hasn’t been tightly wound since 1985!

In The Next Best Thing, Madonna plays a yoga teacher and possible body double to Sarah Jessica Parker. Why yoga? Because she’s in touch with her inner pop legend, of course. Besides, her computer skills are weak and the only dot-com she knows is the faux Indian one on her forehead. Damn, girl, you know more twisty moves than the clay animations in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

Yoga, of course, brings harmony to life, even as it stubbornly refuses to explain “Get Into the Groove.” Hey, no system of posture and awareness can do everything.

“Open your chest,” she advises her yoga class, which must be comprised of chakra cardiologists. It’s nice that Madonna’s in tune with universal vibrations – now if she can just vibrate her ass over to some acting lessons. My God, she’s William Shatner with a Grammy!

Mysteriously missing in action is that frontal gap in Madonna’s teeth – the one gracing a generation of video music history and various track marks on Dennis Rodman’s ass.


Here’s the deal: Madonna has a baby by gay buddy Rupert Everett and they live in one big non-traditional family unhappily ever after.

Having copped Rupert’s Brit accent, Madonna doesn’t even bother to soak up his talent. I’m telling you, Madonna is unspeakably bad in this movie. No natural fibers in this material girl, just the affected ones. Papa don’t preach, and mama can’t act. No wonder the audience opened its chest and stretched into the Howling Dog position.

Did Rupert even read this script first? He has turned into the official Gay Gal Pal. With “out” roles like this to look forward to, it’s no wonder most gay actors stay safely stowed in the closet. Who wouldn’t want to nuzzle a tie-rack before striking poses with Madonna? Trading dialogue with this babe is like running lines with post-it notes on a wall, except post-it notes come in more shades.

What most folks know about this movie is that it features Madonna’s remake of the Don McLean classic “American Pie.” And like any good theme song, this tune is reprised frequently and at the most peculiar moments. Yes, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper are even eulogized as Madonna and her non-traditional family playfully frolic on the beach. The good ole boys spread tanning lotion and rye, singing this’ll be the day that I fry!

Hey, it’s the day the music died, gang – toss me a Frisbee and pass the brewski!

My favorite moment comes when Rupert’s parents fly in to greet him on Endeavor Air. Endeavor Air? Would you fly something called Endeavor Air? What’s their slogan, “We Try to Fly and it Shows”?

This piece of crap is Will and Disgrace – that’s like Will and Grace, but with more Lotus poses and no bathroom breaks.

Time for me to stretch into the Retching Camel pose. Sorry, there’s no ray of light here. It’s worse than borderline.


Leave a Reply

Enter your own funny caption

caption this

“This is where we would kiss if I was attracted to girls”