Christopher Guest brings his unique brand of lunacy to the screen with another mockumentary in the tradition of WAITING FOR GUFFMAN. This one, BEST IN SHOW, is about purebred dog owners feverishly competing for their pets to be named Best in Show at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Using many of the same actors who starred in WAITING FOR GUFFMAN--a spoof on the society surrounding the stage--Guest peoples BEST IN SHOW with hilarious, frighteningly real characters played by Catherine O' Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, and indie stalwart Parker Posey, among others. As the cutthroat competition heats up, the film becomes delightfully absurd. The contestants are hilarious. They include Gerry Fleck, a tacky suburbanite, and his overly popular wife, Cookie; Hamilton and Meg Swan, who are unbalanced, yuppie lawyers with terrible teeth; and Scott Donlan and Stefan Vanderhoof, flamboyant longtime companions who fiercely cheer on their canines while keeping their hearts set on the championship title. A reminder that people often bear an uncanny resemblance to their dogs, BEST IN SHOW takes a funny look at an even funnier business.
Main Cast & Crew:
Christopher Guest - Director
Ed Begley, Jr.
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 90
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 085391895121
- Genre: Comedy
- Rating: PG-13 (MPAA) (language and sex-related material)
- Release Date: May 2001
Theatrical release: September 29, 2000 Screenwriter and star Eugene Levy wrote the original terrier songs he and Catherine O'Hara sing in the film. Filmed on location in Los Angeles, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia. The dogs used in the show are actual purebred show dogs, and hundreds were auditioned. The Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show was based on the real-life Westminster Dog Show in New York. The entire show had to be created for the film, though, since none of the real dog shows would allow the crew to film. Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, who previously collaborated on THIS IS SPINAL TAP, wrote several musical numbers for the film. The film was only loosely scripted--most of the dialogue was improvised. Time, Rolling Stone, Matt Zoller Seitz of the New York Press, and the American Film Institute named BEST IN SHOW one of the 10 best films of 2000. The Boston Society of Film Critics named Fred Willard Best Supporting Actor of 2000. BEST IN SHOW was nominated for the following Golden Globe award: Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy.
"...Reunites many of the same brilliant comic actors [from] WAITING FOR GUFFMAN....This comic jigsaw puzzle is crammed with deliriously funny little bits..." - 09/27/2000 New York Times, pp.1-9
"...The movie ends up belonging to Fred Willard's grrrreat comic turn as a woefully miscast sportscaster who applies overblown World Series/Super Bowl metaphors to participants on leashes..." - 09/27/2000 USA Today, p.1D
"...[When] Fred Willard shows up...[the film] bristles to vulgar, antic life....[Willard delivers] slingshot zest..." - 10/06/2000 Entertainment Weekly, p.58
"...A rare treat....A beautifully turned-out film of real pedigree..." - 03/01/2001 Sight and Sound, p.39-40
"...Unique....It's a joy to see a truly hilarious comedy that balances its laugh-ats with its laugh-withs..." -- 5 out of 5 stars - 04/01/2001 Total Film, p.90
"...Waggish fun like this is too good to miss..." - 10/26/2000 Rolling Stone, p.122
"...BEST IN SHOW has both bark and bite....Its low-key but sharp and amusing sense of humor is a nice fit with the frenetic world of competitive dog shows..." - 09/27/2000 Los Angeles Times, p.C1