Next Best Thing, The

Rated 1.0 A woman (Madonna) becomes pregnant after a drunken one-night stand with her gay best friend (Rupert Everett). They agree to raise the kid as platonic co-parents, but things get sticky several years later when she falls in love with a hunk from New York (Benjamin Bratt). Thomas Ropelewski’s script is an alternate-family fairy tale that transparently caters to the self-deluded fantasies of selfish baby boomers, and it’s as mushy and gutless as Madonna’s version of “American Pie” (which surfaces incessantly on the soundtrack). From the contrived, unbelievable premise to the ludicrous and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after ending, the film is 107 minutes of smarmy falsehood. Director John Schlesinger tries hard to give the film a glamorous sheen, but it’s a fool’s errand.