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The Next Best Thing | 2000 | PG-13 | - 5.1.5

When a drunken tryst between a single woman (Madonna) and her gay best friend (Rupert Everett) results in a pregnancy, they raise the child together successfully until one of them meets someone else. With Benjamin Bratt, Michael Vartan, Josef Sommer, Richard Whittaker, Lynn Redgrave, Kimberley Davies, Illeana Douglas, Stacy Edwards, Neil Patrick Harris, Suzanne Krull, Linda Larkin, Jessica Sara and Malcolm Stumpf. [1:47]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Lots of sexual innuendo (including references to fellatio, artificial insemination and homosexuality) and many kisses, sometime passionate. We see two couples presumably post-coitus: in one scene, we see a shirtless man sitting on a bed where a shirtless man is sleeping; in another scene, we see a man in his underwear lying next to a clothed woman. We see a clothed man and woman lying in bed together (nothing sexual has happened or is about to happen) and, in another scene, a shirtless man sits in bed next to a shirtless woman holding a blanket up to her chest (it's possible they're post-coitus). A man grabs his clothed crotch, which makes a squeaking sound (we later see him pull a toy out of his pants). We see a woman's cleavage and most of her bare backside (she's wearing thong underwear) as she gets dressed; in another scene, we see her in a bra and half-slip as she gets dressed. We see a woman in several cleavage-revealing tops, some people in swimming suits, a man wrapped in a towel, a man in his underwear and a man's bare chest through his open shirt. At a distance, we see an illustration in a medical book of a woman's genital area as she's giving birth.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 1 - A woman slaps a man's face. A few scenes during which adults yell at each other (in one scene, a child witnesses it). We see the casket and funeral ceremony of a man who apparently died of AIDS. The following scenes are played for laughs: a man smacks a woman's clothed buttocks, a man and woman accidentally break a few lamps and a vase while dancing, a woman holds her stomach and screams as she apparently goes into labor, a man falls to the floor while in a yoga position and a cartoon clip shows a character being shot into a lion's open mouth.


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LANGUAGE 5 - An F-word, a few anatomical references, some scatological references, several mild obscenities and insults and many instances of name-calling (mostly in reference to homosexuality).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Nontraditional families, parenting, homophobia, homosexuality, child custody battles, the legal system, drunkenness, prescription drug abuse, AIDS, deception, biological parents.

MESSAGE - Being a good parent requires unlimited compassion, compromise and sacrifice when dealing with your child and your co-parent; the legal system doesn't always reward active and engaged parents (especially if they're gay).

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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