Best in Show (2000)

Best in Show (2000)

GENRESComedy
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Fred WillardEugene LevyCatherine O'HaraJennifer Coolidge
DIRECTOR
Christopher Guest

SYNOPSICS

Best in Show (2000) is a English movie. Christopher Guest has directed this movie. Fred Willard,Eugene Levy,Catherine O'Hara,Jennifer Coolidge are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2000. Best in Show (2000) is considered one of the best Comedy movie in India and around the world.

At the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show, a "documentary film crew" captures the excitement and tension displayed by the eccentric participants in the outrageously hilarious satire Best In Show. This biting send-up exposes the wondrously diverse dog owners who travel from all over America to showcase their four-legged contenders. Mild-mannered salesman Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy) and his vivacious wife, Cookie (Catherine O'Hara), happily prepare their Norwich Terrier, while shop owner Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest) hopes his Bloodhound wins top prize. As two upwardly mobile attorneys (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock) anxiously ready their neurotic Weimaraner and an ecstatically happy gay couple (Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins) dote on their tiny Shih Tzu, inept commentator Buck Laughlin (Fred Willard) vainly attempts to provide colorful tidbits about each breed.

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Best in Show (2000) Reviews

  • "Best In Show" indeed

    Fincher-32001-06-12

    I'll admit that I've never seen "Waiting for Guffman", 1997's critically acclaimed comedy mockumentary about a small town thats that stages a pageant. When the advertising for Best in Show had the tagline "From the Team That Brought You Waiting for Guffman", a fair number of critics out there implied in their reviews that only people that are familiar with the film or its filmmakers and cast would have a good time seeing this film. For shame, critics, for shame times two! Any critic that implies something like that with any film probably doesn't want to share the film's wealth with the rest of the world, but this is one film that I hope people will experience, now that its video/dvd. "Best in Show" is, without a doubt, the best comedy of 2000. The film begins with a mockumentary style, introducing the main competitors (not to mention screwballs) of the annual Mayflower "Best In Show" competition, where dogs of all breeds come to compete to see who is the top dog. We have the loveable and gullable Harry Pepper (Guest) with his bloodhound, the simple Gerry & Cookie Fleck (Levy & O'Hara) with their terriors, nut-case yuppies Hamilton & Meg Swan (Hitchcock & Posey), the gay dog groomers Scott Dolan & Stefan Vanderhoof (Higgins & McKean), and the airheaded millionare Sheri Ann Ward Cabot (Coolidge) along with her trainer Christy Cummings (Lynch). They all have their minds on one simple object: The Blue Ribbon, which will be awarded to the best dog. And...do I have to tell you the rest? Director/writer/star Guest's idea of humor is one that assures me that there are comedies out there that are worth laughing at, and that the idiocy of films like "American Pie" or other pointless "teenage" flicks won't take over the world after all. His idea is simple: make your comedy not just funny, but SMART funny. But instead of following in the brilliant footsteps of films like "Zero Effect" and "High Fidelity", he used a rather unusual approach (and as I understand, he also used this approach for "Guffman"). Whether you notice or not, a very large part of the film is improvisation. In other words, what the actors say and do were probably not written in the script, maybe even not even dreamed of by Guest and co-writer/star Levy. But with a gentle hand from Guest, he and the actors pulled off a hilarious theatrical feat that probably would have flopped if handled by other, less adept actors. Now that's smart! The cast is, of course, what makes improv work the most. All of them are a (comedic) marvel to behold, especially Guest as Pepper. But the real standout has to be Fred Williard as Buck Laughlin, the clueless announcer at the competition who can spin out the most outrageously funny stories and comments that no announcer would even dream of...that is, if the announcer was trying to be funny. Williard can go from talking about the dog to suddenly going on and on about how much he can bench press. There's even a part were he gives out an idea for a new marketing strategy: have sexy women pose in tight shirts and shorts with the dogs and imply something like "have a doggie-style of a time". Its priceless, as is his performance. I hope that people engage in this 90-minute "dogumentary". The film deserves so much recognition. It did get nominated for Best Picture-Comedy at the Golden Globes, but didn't win. I can't see why. I mean, in the comedy department, it is best in show. GRADE: A

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  • Sit, Stay, and Enjoy!

    budmassey2001-06-23

    You would almost have to have seen the dog show world first hand to understand all the delicious inside jokes, but even if the extent of your dog show experience is an occasional glimpse of the Westminster Dog Show telecast, you'll howl with laughter. Conformation dog showing is a world of illusion in which everyone tries to make perfect dogs out of something less. Best in Show strips the illusion away in a brutal satire that undoubtedly had every dog person on the planet cringing in horror and delight. "Isn't that just like so-and-so?" and "I'm nothing like that!" Christopher Guest may have topped his supreme masterpiece "Spinal Tap" with this signature mockumentary in which he skewers all of dogdom. You will recognize Fred Willard's vapid and obnoxious television host as none other than Joe what's his name from Westminster, and the tension between him and Trevor Beckwith (Jim Piddock) is a thinly veiled roman a clef of David and Joe at the Big Show. There are a few gaffs, like the fact at all the dogs at the Show are supposed to be champions before entry, but that doesn't detract from the fun. John Michael Higgins, who steals the show as the uninhibited handler, and Michael McKean are hilarious as the gay couple going out of their way to be outre. Co-writer Eugene Levy (American Pie) is perfect as the husband finding out that his wife Catherine O'Hara might be Miss Congeniality of all time. I also loved Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock as the overwrought yuppie couple who project all their angst on their poor dog. Larry Miller turns in a great cameo as one of the countless men in O'Hara's past. A lot of people didn't get this gem. To them I can only say Bad Dog, Bad Dog! For the rest of us, it's Sit, Stay, and Enjoy!

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  • Dog people, amusing enough in real life, are much more so in Christoher Guest's master mockumentary.

    javaman-72001-03-02

    Best in Show (2000) Directed by Christopher Guest. Written by Guest and Eugene Levy. Starring Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Levy, Catherine O'Hara, John Michael Higgins, Michael McKean, Guest and Fred Willard. Running Time: 90 minutes Rated PG-13 Dog people, and the dogs that own them, are often amusing in real life. But in the hands of master mock documentarist Christopher Guest, the amusement is marvelously magnified. (Guest practically invented the "mockumentary" with his 1984 rock band send-up, "This is Spinal Tap.") In the days leading up to the Mayfair Kennel Club Dog Show, several sets of contestants make their way to Philadelphia to realize a dream of being "Best in Show." There's a pair of New York yuppies (Posey and Hitchcock) who are even higher strung than their willful weimaraner. A gay couple (Higgins and McKean) shows up to show off their shih tzu. A Florida husband and wife (Levy and O'Hara) make the trip with their terrier, discovering along the way that every man they meet is one of her former lovers. And finally, springing fully-grown from a country music song, lonely guy Harlan Pepper (Guest) arrives from North Carolina in a pickup truck with his droop-faced bloodhound. Once at the show, the odd assortment of owners conduct their canines toward a "best in show" showdown, where brilliantly inept color commentary is provided by Buck Laughlin (Willard). Even though fairly well known actors play the primary roles, Guest achieves a documentary feel, mainly because much of the dialogue seems improvised. As writer-director, he deserves credit, either for writing sharp dialogue, or for directing in a way that inspires creativity in his actors. Some of the best lines come from Posey and Hitchcock, the yuppie couple who met when their eyes locked as they sipped coffee at separate but close-by Starbucks, and whose pooch becomes paranoid whenever they get intimate in its presence. The other cast members ably deliver lines that define their quirky characters. Especially good is O'Hara as a woman with a past who is nonetheless devoted to spouse Levy, who literally has two left feet. Even the background extras, probably real-life dog handlers, are fascinating to watch, and seem to inhabit their own documentaries, waiting for their own close-ups. The last third of the film brings the entire cast together for the "Best in Show" competition. This is where Willard, who seems to have wandered in from a slow day at the XFL, delivers his wildly comic commentary, which amazes and befuddles his more serious partner. (For a while, there was actually some Oscar buzz for Willard's performance here.) Though the film pokes fun at the dog show circuit, it also reveals a fondness for the people involved. It may not inspire you to become a dog show person, but it just may have you looking in the classifieds to see when the next real-life show is coming to your town. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4 ###

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  • ONe of the funniest movies ever

    sideburnmikeguitar2006-12-22

    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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  • As good as Spinal Tap

    honkus2003-12-02

    This is the funniest movie I have ever seen. However, I have laughed harder at plenty of movies. This is because Best In Show's brilliance lies not in slapstick or one-liners, but in sophisticated and layered verbal wit. The improvised dialogue is is so quick that you end up laughing not at each individual joke, but only until after several jokes build on one another, each disarming your senses until the jokes climax and you can't help letting loose. It's a well-shot film, but what makes it extraordinary is the acting. I was impressed on my first viewing, but when I watched it after having learned that virtually every scene is improvised, I was amazed. It was thoroughly enjoyable to see the comedians work off each other, build jokes out of nothing, and completely immerse themselves in their characters. I imagine the golden days of Second City were like this.

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