Not the next best thing
See more » Culture Low and High
Charles and I rented Next Best Thing. Iíd never seen Madonna in a movie before. Now I know why sheís rarely had success as an actress. She canít act. Kind of a surprise that a woman who has been so shrewd and cunning in finding the right producers and in manipulating her surface should sound as though sheís reading her lines off the teleprompter for the first time. Slipping into a sort of British accent for a phrase or two made it even more uncomfortable to hear.
If Iíd seen this movie I donít think Iíd had my baffling dream about having sex with Madonna. My one erotic dream that involved a woman (my favorite sexy dream had a red-haired boy on my lap). At the time Iídíve heard almost none of her music. (I didnít listen to any of it until about 1998 and donít carry the burden of being annoyed with her long career.)
At the time the only feeling I had for Madonna was respect. That she was always able to find a look and sound that kept her popular struck me mostly as a fascinating pop culture capitalist triumph. And after all the decades of women who were used and quickly disposed of by producers I liked seeing a woman who could retain control and use the Ďhit makersí herself.
Iídíve expected Rupert Everett to save the movie for me. But his loving and later tearful daddy role never won more than the sympathy I felt obliged to give. I mightíve liked his role better if it were a component of a better movie.
Maybe one of Everettís novels will come into the shop one day and Iíll give it a try. I wouldnít burden it with expectations and wonít feel disobliged if I quickly shut it. (Oddly enough Iíve never opened one of Stephen Fryís comic novels and weíve had at least one in the shop.)