Abbie, tired of failed relationships, has a one-night-stand with her gay friend; they agree to raise the resulting baby together.


John Schlesinger


Tom Ropelewski (as Thomas Ropelewski)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Madonna ... Abbie Reynolds
Rupert Everett ... Robert Whittaker
Benjamin Bratt ... Ben Cooper
Illeana Douglas ... Elizabeth Ryder
Michael Vartan ... Kevin Lasater
Josef Sommer ... Richard Whittaker
Malcolm Stumpf Malcolm Stumpf ... Sam
Lynn Redgrave ... Helen Whittaker
Neil Patrick Harris ... David
Mark Valley ... Cardiologist
Suzanne Krull ... Annabel
Stacy Edwards ... Finn
John Carroll Lynch ... Abbie's Lawyer
Fran Bennett ... Judge Tracey Bennett
Ricki Lopez Ricki Lopez ... Angel


A comedy-drama about best friends - one a straight woman, Abbie, the other a gay man, Robert - who decide to have a child together. Five years later, Abbie falls in love with a straight man and wants to move away with her and Robert's little boy Sam, and a nasty custody battle ensues. Written by TexGuy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was smart, handsome and single. When her biological clock was running out, he was... the next best thing. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content, partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


When the film was in development in 1995, Helen Hunt and Richard Dreyfuss were originally intended to star as Abbie and Robert respectively. See more »


Near the end of the film, when Robert is talking to Ben across the street of Sam's school, Robert's head keeps changing positions between shots. In one shot he is looking toward Ben and in another shot he is looking at the school, then it goes back to the other shot when hes looking at Ben. See more »


Abbie: Robert, I'm offering you a choice. You can either be the baby's father or his uncle.
See more »


References Top Hat (1935) See more »


Don't Make Me Love You (Till I'm Ready)
Written by Shelly Peiken and Todd Chapman
Performed by Christina Aguilera
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
Produced and Arranged by Todd Chapman (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

An Arrangement
28 February 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Next Best Thing casts Madonna as a free spirited soul (some stretch of casting there) who has a one night stand with an old friend and soul mate Rupert Everett. But that's not likely to happen too often as Everett is a gay man with whom she confides her innermost.

I think Everett's character must have been based on Roddy McDowall who was a confidante to many of the rich and glamorous and unlike that other gay man who did that as well, Truman Capote, McDowall never wrote any tell all memoirs.

It rarely happens in real life, but a blessed event came from that mating and Madonna and Everett decide to move in together, not marry, but raise the child as a mother and father with each leading their separate lives. It actually does work for a while.

Madonna really gets into the mother role and Everett's a great father figure. But he never forgets his social life with friends and lovers like Neil Patrick Harris and Mark Valley.

But then Madonna meets Benjamin Bratt who wants to get married and that puts an end to the arrangements.

The Next Best Thing while a sincere effort in its own way of showing the complicated problems that gays and lesbians have with the raising of children, their own children at that, it sadly degenerates into the kind of soap opera that one finds on the Lifetime Channel. It's not a horrible film, just will never be on anyone's ten best list.

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English | French

Release Date:

3 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Red Curtain See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,870,387, 5 March 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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