BEST IN SHOW (12)
D: Christopher Guest
Warner Bros/Castle Rock (Karen Murphy)
USA 🇺🇸 2000
W: Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
DP: Roberto Schaefer
Ed: Robert Leighton
Mus: C.J. Vanston
Eugene Levy (Gerry Fleck), Catherine O'Hara (Cookie Fleck), John Michael Higgins (Scott Donlan), Michael McKean (Stefan Vanderhoof), Michael Hitchcock (Hamilton Swan), Parker Posey (Meg Swan), Jennifer Coolidge (Sherri Ann Cabot), Jane Lynch (Christy Cummings), Christopher Guest (Harlan Pepper), Fred Willard (Buck Laughlin)
It's fair to say that Best In Show does for dog shows what This Is Spinal Tap (also produced by Karen Murphy) did for a (fictional) Rock & Roll band. Directed and co-written by Christopher Guest & presented in a mock documentary fashion, this satirical comedy pokes fun at the various characters who travel to Philadelphia to participate in an annual Crufts-style event, all a little overzealous to win with their beloved pets.
The ensemble of characters are as varied as they come, from a Southern Hick to a Beauty Queen gold-digger, a gay couple and a pair of dysfunctional married couples, all vying for the Best In Show top prize.
The characters and snappy dialogue provide some great jokes and even the canine contingent of the cast manage to generate some comic relief, the star of the show however has to be Fred Willard as a politically incorrect commentator of the event who almost treats the proceedings with contempt and disdain, much to the chagrin of his co-host.
The only negative aspect of the film probably comes in the scenes after the main show, as the various characters get back to their day-to-day lives, but thankfully these scenes don't take up enough of the running time to put a dampener on the film as a whole. It isn't quite the dog's bollocks, but it's close enough.