Best In Show

0
0
Subscribe to Bob Balaban alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th October 2000

Box Office USA: $16.6M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Castle Rock Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 104 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: Jay Brazeau as Dr. Chuck Nelken, Parker Posey as Meg Swan, Michael Hitchcock as Hamilton Swan, Catherine O'Hara as Cookie Fleck, Eugene Levy as Gerry Fleck, Bob Balaban as Dr. Theodore W. Millbank, III, Will Sasso as Fishin' Hole Guy, Stephen E. Miller as Fishin' Hole Guy, Christopher Guest as Harlan Pepper, Michael McKean as Stefan Vanderhoof, John Michael Higgins as Scott Donlan, Colin Cunningham as New York Butcher, Fred Willard as Buck Laughlin, Jennifer Coolidge as Sherri Ann Cabot, Jane Lynch as Christy Cummings, Larry Miller as Max Berman, Rachael Harris as Winky's Party Guest

Best In Show Movie Review


Just when you thought the mockumentary had mocked everything worth mocking, here comes a new gem of the genre that will have you rolling in the aisles once again.

Up for skewering this time around is the dog show, as Best in Show takes the absolutely inane shenanigans of dog breeders and handlers, impaling their obsession with a caliber of wit unseen since This is Spinal Tap made rock gods look like buffoons.

Not that this is a surprise. Writer/director Christopher Guest wrote and composed the music for Spinal Tap, directed the funny-hmmm Waiting for Guffman, and even starred in the masterful and sarcastic The Princess Bride. His The Big Picture is one of the most underrated parodies -- attacking Hollywood -- of all time. Guest knows comedy, and he is still at the top of his game.

Best in Show owes its hilarity to its script, which gives us the simple premise of pet owners from around the country converging on the Mayflower Dog Show in Philadelphia (you know, where they make the cream cheese). And while the script is stellar, opening with a yuppie couple in group psychotherapy with their depressed Weimaraner, it's the dead-on casting that makes Best in Show so teary-eyed goofy.

With some dozen characters, it's hard to single out any one actor who steals the show, but I'd have to give top honors to John Michael Higgins (the guy who played Letterman in The Late Shift), a screaming queen with a Shih Tzu named Miss Agnes and a straightish "companion" played by Michael McKean. Parker Posey is always a treat to watch as half of the yuppie couple; with their matching braces and testimonials about being so fortunate to be raised "with catalogs," the Starbucks set has never looked more embarrassing.

Guest has a role as a hick Bloodhound-owner cum ventriloquist, and Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara give their best as pathetic, lower-than-white trash Terrier wranglers. (O'Hara's slutty vixen even sticks her name tag right on her chest instead of her top.) Finally there's Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler's Mom from American Pie) as a Philly society gal, Anna Nicole Smith-like in her buxomness and adamancy that her marriage to an octogenarian is filled with love. Who will win the silver cup? Who cares? They're all fall-down funny.

What unfortunately drags Best in Show off its game is the fact that most of these actors have been around the block a time or two in this kind of material. At least a half-dozen of the main players are Second City or Spinal Tap comedy veterans, including Fred Willard's loutish announcer, who wonders on the air why the Bloodhound can't put on a Sherlock Holmes hat and a smoke a pipe. There's just no opportunity to mistake Best in Show for a real documentary -- as some did when Spinal Tap came out, and as many still do with a movie like Dadetown. While the documentary style is intact, these faces are just too familiar to pull that off.

That and a few missed joke opportunities aside, Best in Show has easily gained a spot on my top ten list this year. Maybe not the blue ribbon, but definitely the red.

Bow wow wow.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Bob Balaban alerts

Comments

Best In Show Rating

" Extraordinary "

Advertisement

More Bob Balaban

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

Advertisement

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement