The owners (and handlers) of five show dogs head for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A film crew interviews them as they prepare for the trip, arrive at Philly's Taft Hotel, and compete. From Florida come the Flecks: she keeps running into old lovers. A wordless ancient in a wheelchair and his buxom trophy wife who may have a thing for the dog's handler own the two-time defending best in show, a poodle. From the piney woods of N.C. comes a fella who wants to be a ventriloquist. High-strung DINKs feud loudly in front of their Weimaraner. Two outré gay men from Tribeca round out the profiled owners. The dog show brings out the essence of the humans. Who will be best in show?Written by
This is the only Christopher Guest movie that rivals Spinal Tap and Princess Bride for sheer entertainment value, but somehow never gets near the recognition. The plot surrounds the contestants--dogs--and their owners as they venture into the world of competitive dog...OK, it's about a dog show. The owners truly are characters, as one would have to be to be so attached to their dogs. That's really all there is to it, but that makes it funny enough.
You'd never be able to convince me that a mock-u-mentary about dog shows would be funny prior to catching the hilarious scene where Levy and O'hara visit Larry Miller's house on TV...but that's really all it takes to convert any doubters. Spinal Tap was non-stop hilarity, joke after joke whereas Best in Show was had a few more lulls (and by that I mean say 3 minute at MOST where something riotously funny doesn't happen), but the big laughs are even bigger.
The casting in this one is great and even the typically out of place in, uh movies in general Parker Posey does a fine job. In fact, her tirade directed at Ed Begley Jr. and a pet store owner over a lost dog toy is probably the funniest running gag of the film.
What's amazing about this movie to me is how the writers somehow managed to weave a plot, simple as it was, around these great jokes so that it actually felt like it had direction. I guess there's a freedom in having such a minimal plot. Everyone's role is pretty well crafted here and the characters are rarely over-the-top. The realism of how pathetic they seem to the outsider is what makes it funnier than Mighty Wind or the uneven Guffman. I actually encounter wierdos like this now and then. If you like Guest's stuff at all, you should definitely own this one.
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