Sunday, April 5, 2009

Best in Show

Christopher Guest, 2000 (8.6*)
Former SNL writer and actor Guest has made a series of small comedies, some funny and some not, but Best in Show is definitely his best, a hilarious spoof of the big Westminister dog shows that we can now see on cable. The story follows five dogs to the big show. Four are owned by couples: two married hetero couples, one gay couple (over the top but hilarious), and one lesbian couple. The last is a Tennessee bloodhound owned by bachelor Guest, a southern gentlemen who seems to have stepped out of a forgotten era. His low key style sometimes undermines the comedy, as he did in A Mighty Wind, but it works better here.

Most of the owners treat their dogs better than people; the film even starts with Parker Posey explaining a sexual incident to what we first think is a couples psychologist, but it turns out to be a dog psychologist being consulted because her Weimeraner (sp?) is depressed after witnessing its owners making love in some wild kama sutra position(!) Former SCTV comedians Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play the funniest couple, with a little Scottie from Florida, who have a hilarious road visit with her former beau, standup comedian Larry Miller, now a hostage negotiator, who tells his son, "Come down off that garage or I'll gouge your eyes out with my thumb."

All the actors are perfectly cast, and funny in their own ways; however, it's Fred Willard who nearly steals the movie as the naive tv announcer who obviously knows nothing about dog shows. If you like SNL and SCTV, and something a little more cerebral than Adam Sandler, this comedy will likely tickle your bones, and your dog's as well.


Kyle N. May 4, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

Fantastic movie. There are very few creative writers in this world of remakes but Christopher Geuss is definetly one of them. Great write up.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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