Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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In a Perfect World: Next Would Be Based on TV Show

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on April 28, 2007

“Will Nicolas go for Julianne? / Or will he tell her he’d rather move to Sudan?”

Why are thrillers these days always about being able to predict the future? I mean c’mon, is shit really so desperate that now we have now have no choice to rely on clairvoyance to get ourselves out of the big messes? And why do they all have to be so fucking literally titled? First Deja Vu (as in, Denzel Washington has Deja Vu about a ship blowing up or something), then Premonition (as in, Sandra Bullock has a Premonition that her husband’s gonna die or something), and now, Next (as in Nicolas Cage better figure out what the fuck is gonna happen Next or else the world is gonna blow up or something). Jesus.

This wouldn’t be so bad, I suppose, if there weren’t a wealth of other film possibilities being unexplored here. And Next is probably the biggest wasted opportunity of them all. You’ve got Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel, directed by the dude behind the underrated Die Another Day and the super-underrated XXX2: State of the Union, and you’ve got the title “Next.” How the fuck are you going to not have it be based on the MTV show?

Now, I’m not saying it should be taken from the show directly. You couldn’t have the cutesy formatting, the stupid fucking rhymes, the canned dialogue, none of that stuff. This is the big screen we’re talking about now, and that shit don’t fly. As a matter of fact, I think the movie would be most effective if it was approached as a beginnings-of flick, showing how NEXT came to be. Here’s how I see it:

Nicolas Cage plays a down-on-his-luck lawyer who still hasn’t gotten over losing Julianne Moore ever since she left him because his job was taking up too much of his time. After months of sulking and lazing around, to the detriment of his work, father figure / boss Peter Falk (no shit, he’s actually in the real movie) encourages him to get back out on the scene, saying to him “You still got your whole life ahead of you…but before you figure that out, you have to find out what’s NEXT.”

This gives Cage an idea. His firm has a new big case, one that’s going to take up most of his time, so he decides to try to find his new love by doingf the only thing he has time for–a succession of truncated, accelerated dates. He puts an ad in the local paper and even gets a spot on the local news advertising for girls to try out and see if they’re “what’s NEXT for him,” and his heartbreaking story and nice-guy demeanor inspires dozens of ready and willing applicants.

He tries out the great majority of these dates in a hilarious montage set to “I’m Into Something Good,” but all are disasters, until he meets Biel, who despite her relative youth seems like the best match he’s likely to have. However, just before he’s about to offer Biel a second date, he notices that there’s just one participant left–Moore, who having noticed that Cage (whose lack of focus on the firm’s big case has gotten him demoted) has finally gotten his priorities straight, and wants him back. Ultimately, Cage cannot choose Biel, and offers Moore the second date. “So am I your NEXT?” she asks. “No,” he answers. “You were the right one all along.”

You could probably even get late-90s R&B pariahs Next to do the soundtrack. I can’t imagine they’ve got much else to do these days.

One Response to “In a Perfect World: Next Would Be Based on TV Show”

  1. jordan said

    fuck basing a movie on “next.”
    if they just played five hours of commercial free “next” in a movie theatre i would go something like every other day.

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