The Next Best Thing |


Madonna, Rupert Everett, ...

'BEST' BETS Madonna with costar Rupert Everett (Suzanne Tenner)

Pretend for just a moment that your best friend is Madonna. You’re hanging out one afternoon, the booze is flowing, and before you know it, you’re re-enacting some of those kinky pics from her ”Sex” book. Such a scenario should never, ever be a bad thing – unless you’re Rupert Everett, and you’re gay, and she gets pregnant. Such are the complications explored in this dramedy from the director of ”Midnight Cowboy.”

While Madonna may be the draw, ”Next”’s second-best-known star may be its most valuable, since Everett headlines and offered crucial creative input, such as persuading Madonna to record her buzzed-about techno cover of Don McLean’s ”American Pie” for the soundtrack. Everett sees his character as a natural progression from his best-known role: ”I was so lucky with ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ and getting to be popular with mainstream America. So I wanted to do something that was similar – but a step further.”

Everett won’t divulge much plot, though earlier reports have hinted at a custody trial and a funeral. ”This is basically a story about what is parenthood and what is family. Is blood the most important thing, or is it commitment?” Okay, but here’s what inquiring minds REALLY want to know: How’s Madonna? ”She’s very, very good,” assures Everett. ”I think people will be surprised by her acting.” BUZZ FACTOR: 8

Go to the official website.