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Best in Show (2000)

Art House & International and Comedy movie directed by Christopher Guest

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What does the smell of victory smells like to you -- just don't step in it.

  • May 28, 2007
  • by
I always thought that comedies are usually the easiest films to write which possibly explains why we have so many. Yet, 'Best in Show' is somewhat different compared to the comedies presented to us here. Directed again by Guest was for a large part improvised according to the film's documentary and is quite different from today's standards. This story is mainly about The Mayflower Kennel Dog Show which is like the Super Bowl of dog shoes; and in documentary style this film showcases the incredibly over-the-top preparations the dog owners take part in for this show.

The film constantly cuts from interviews with these zany characters to actual interactive footage shot while on their way to the dog show. All in documentary style that a person who is uneducated about the film can easily mistake for a genuine documentary. This film contains an all-star cast that includes actors who really know how to act and that capture the essence of each scene. This film is lined with scene after scene of hilarious bits focusing upon these characters and the manner in which they handle their canines like minor deities.

Guest also takes part as one of the major characters of course and plays Harlan Pepper; a fishing-store owner who travels to the Kennel Dog Show in his Winnebago in hopes of capturing the championship. He is just one of the many developed and layered characters that is fun to watch. Other characters include Parker Posey as a sexually deprived nagging wife who becomes insane with anger after losing her dog's toy. Eugene Levy plays the part of terribly jealous husband born with two left feet to Catherine O'Hara who plays his wife who cannot stop running into men she slept with in the past. Other characters include Michael McKean who plays a homosexual dog owner who steals the movie away from the others when sharing scenes with his male companion during the film's many interview sequences. Fred Willard who takes the art of improvisation to new heights as the dog's shows color commentator is quite funny.

As far as breaking new ground is concerned, this film does not. Aforesaid, it is unconventional and different from others but in the end is a different film with regular results. This film does contain elements that most films do not such as richly textured characters and great acting, but at it's heart cannot break free from the monotonous tone a documentary usually brings with it. Even though it is a mock documentary that does not take itself seriously, it still is a bit over-the-top. Resulting in a different and unconventional film that will best be viewed by fans and new ones--like my self.

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More Best in Show (2000) reviews
review by . April 13, 2008
My husband actually turned me onto this movie. The first time I saw it, I was completely surprised. But, the second time I was hooked.    These actors are truly amazing. Considering they have done other movies as well, I'm mesmorized at the manner in which they can take on a new persona with each movie.    There is no picking a favorite in this movie when it comes to a person or scene - because the whole thing is just great.    If you don't …
review by . February 12, 2008
Tell the truth! there aren't very many movies that are really worth owning. Sure, you've gotAkira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Shichinin No Samurai) ~ Original Theatrical Version [Import, All-region] (Dvd), but how many times are you going to watch it?     Well, this perfectly silly movie is one that you may watch so often that you start to memorize the dialog. What makes it so addictive is the utter seriousness of the characters about their very small world. Christopher Guest and …
review by . July 16, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Director and co-screenwriter Guest has been centrally involved with the creation of four of the best "mockumentaries": This Is Spinal Tap (1983), Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), and A Mighty Wind (2003). The effectiveness of a mockumentary depends on several factors. First, the actors must "play it straight," as if unaware that they are spoofing anyone or anything. Fred Willard (Buck Laughlin), for example, in this film or Leslie Nielsen in Airplane! or as Frank Drebin in the Naked …
review by . January 04, 2004
It's terrific to see Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, the "fire and ice" song-writing combination of Nigel Tufnell and David St Hubbins from This is Spinal Tap, reunited, albeit as unrelated characters. Indeed, Guest's character, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of nuts and a hankering to learn more ventriloquism, isn't a million miles removed from the great Tap Guitarist. I don't think Best In Show quite attains Spinal Tap's giddy heights, but it will give you plenty of belly laughs, and there …
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About this movie


Christopher Guest, the man behindWaiting for Guffman, turns his comic eye on another little world that takes itself a bit too seriously: the world of competitive dog shows.Best in Showfollows a clutch of dog owners as they prepare and preen their dogs to win a national competition. They include the yuppie pair (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock) who fear they've traumatized their Weimaraner by having sex in front of him; a suburban husband and wife (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara) with a terrier and a long history of previous lovers on the wife's part; the Southern owner of a bloodhound (Guest himself) with aspirations as a ventriloquist; and many more. Following the same "mockumentary" format ofSpinal TapandGuffman,Best in Showtakes in some of the dog show officials, the manager of a nearby hotel that allows dogs to stay there, and the commentators of the competition (a particularly knockout comic turn by Fred Willard as an oafish announcer). The movie manages to paint an affectionate portrait of its quirky characters without ever losing sight of the ridiculousness of their obsessive world. Almost all of the scenes were created through improvisation. While lacking the overall focus of a written script,Best in Showcaptures hilarious and absurd aspects of human behavior that could never be written down. The movie's success is a testament to both the talent of the actors and Guest's discerning eye.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Christopher Guest
Genre: Foreign, Comedy
Screen Writer: Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest
DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001
Runtime: 90 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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