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The Next Best Thing

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The Next Best Thing - 27/10/2012 7:50:13 AM   
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Tries too hard, and falls flat on its face - 27/10/2012 7:50:13 AM   


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Joined: 12/11/2009
Let's face it, by the year 2000 almost everybody who isn't a dinosaur had accepted that being gay was perfectly okay. What other people do in their bedrooms is their business, and theirs alone.

So why does this hodge-podge of a movie go out of its way to preach that a person can be gay, and still be normal? From gay stereotypes (especially the cringeworthy moment in the car keys in the music studio scene) to heavy-handed ad repeated in-your-face bludgeoning (like the fact that gays can mourn a dead homosexual lover - quelle surprise!), this movie wanders too far from its basic premise.

And, to be honest, that basic premise isn't half bad. The idea of a straight woman having a one night stand with her gay male best friend and falling pregnant opened up all sorts of avenues which this film then does a very weak job of exploring. Perhaps the script's biggest flaw is that it tries to be a romantic comedy, a social commentary, and a lesson in parenting all rolled into one. As such it fails at every one of them, and instead veers all over the place like a drunk trying to walk home at 3 a.m.

It doesn't help that Madonna' can't act worth a damn. What someone like Julia Roberts could have done with the role of Abbie we will never know, but even a composite of all the best actresses in history cannot ovecome the deficiencies of a lousy script. Madonna could be as skilled at acting as her ex-husband Sean Penn and this movie would still be a might-have-been decent piece of celluloid fluff that instead gets bogged down in its own ambitions.

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