Best In Show
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

Finally, a movie for dog people! I just don't understand why the world has been taken over by cat people. What's with that? Anyway, Best In Show is about dogs and the people who own and show them, and there is nary a cat in sight.  This film is loosely based on the competition in the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The story follows the owners of five dogs as they prepare for and compete in the dog show. The cast is great, including two thirds of Spinal Tap (Christopher Guest and Michael McKean), two members of SCTV (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara) as well as Parker Posey, Fred Willard and Ed Begley Jr.  Best In Show was directed by Guest who also co-wrote the script with Levy.  Previously, Guest and Levy teamed up on Waiting For Guffman. This film is a bit of a reunion since at least 8 members of the cast appeared in both movies. Best In Show is a satire but if you've seen the real dog show, then you'll realize that they would have to go way over the top to be funnier than the real thing.  Never fear, this movie is way over the top.  When this works, Best In Show is very funny and when it doesn't, you cringe. Often, it's a little of both.  Guest puts in an amazing performance as the southern, fish-loving, ventriloquist owner of the Bloodhound. Levy, as the owner of the Norwich Terrier, produces another one of his many characters who are so geeky and scarily weird that it sets your teeth on edge.  O'Hara is also good as Levy's wife who has apparently slept with every man in America. The most entertaining trio are the dysfunctional family played by Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock and their Weimeraner.  The other two dogs (a Shih Tzu and a Poodle) are owned by gay (Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins) and lesbian (Jennifer Coolidge and  Jane Lynch) couples.  As I've commented before, I don't share the apparent feeling of American filmmakers and audiences alike that there's nothing funnier than someone who is gay.  These characters in Best In Show are not very funny.  Fred Willard does a humorous turn as the know-nothing play-by-play commentator at the Dog Show.  However, the real stars of this film are Beatrice (Weimeraner), Winky (Norwich Terrier), Miss Agnes (Shih Tzu), Rhapsody in White (Poodle), and Hubert (Bloodhound).  They all put in Oscar-caliber performances and steal every scene that they appear in.  And I won't spoil the end by telling you who wins Best In Show.