Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #164 Best in Show

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Movie #164 Best in Show

(2000, US, d. Christopher Guest)

Though not as funny as I thought it would be, don’t let my preconceived notions affect you from seeing this film. A character-ensemble mockumentary from Christopher Guest (writer/director of This is Spinal Tap and For Your Consideration), Best in Show introduces the audience to the dog-eat-dog world of competing in the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. The story follows five eclectic dog owners as they make travel arrangements, travel, prepare, and compete in the dog show. Filled with insightful character bits and really fleshed out characters, Best in Show accomplishes what only a few ensemble pieces can: Most Hollywood films can barely let us sympathize with our lead after a movie. But here, in less than an hour and half, the audience feels for every character. A compliment to Guest, his lively and believable characters are what drives these films. In particular, Fred Willard steals the show in every single bit he’s in during the second half of the movie. His performance as the slightly dim-witted but enthusiastic show commentator is literally perfect. If I wasn’t cracking up, my jaw was dropping at his incredible performance. Featuring a range of actors including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Jane Lynch, Guest, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, and Willard, Best in Show is a little odd-ball ¬†– a movie that will take you by surprise in its subject and character treatment – but very, very funny.

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