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Overall Rating
4.11

Awesome: 34.09%
Worth A Look49.24%
Average: 12.88%
Pretty Bad: 0.76%
Total Crap: 3.03%

11 reviews, 66 user ratings


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Best in Show
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by Scott Weinberg

"Improvisation at its finest."
4 stars

Sure, it's easy to poke fun of arrogance and pretense. The key is not to overdo it. Best of Show is a very funny example of how you can tease and ridicule a certain group, without actually abusing them. Christopher Guest's Best in Show is a great little movie that sets its sights on a truly obnoxious group of people - Dog Freaks.

You know the type; the people that talk nonsense to their dogs and treat them like small retarded children. The people that always refer to their animal as 'Mr. something' or something ending in 'IE'. (Mookie, Loopie, Crotchie) Those freaks who are so wrapped up in their silly dogs that they neglect to notice how truly shallow and goofy they are. (The people that is, not the dogs.) For fanatics of this nature, simply owning and loving a pet isn't enough; their dogs have to be the best.

Best of Show introduces us to a wide array of such dog freaks. As with Christopher Guest's earlier Waiting for Guffman, the fun of this movie comes in watching some great comedic talents basically making things up as they go along. Since the large portion of Best in Show is done improvisationally, it certainly helps to have some quick and funny actors on hand.

Faring the best are Parker Posey (what else is new) as the uptight and controlling Meg Swan, and Catherine O'Hara as Cookie Fleck. Both actresses have proven before that they know how to be funny, and they steal every scene they appear in. Almost as successful are Eugene Levy (as Cookie's husband Jerry) and Michael McKean as the pompous Stefan Vanderhoof. Oddly, director Christopher Guest gives himself the dryest of all the roles, that of idiot/hunter/ventriliquist Harlan Pepper. Veteran character actor Larry Miller shows up for one five-minute scene, and may actually earn the biggest laughs in the movie.

All of these kooks (and several more) are brought together for an annual dog show in Philadelphia, PA. (The entire movie was filmed in Canada.) In most movies featuring a competition like this, the main focus would be who's gonna win? In this movie, it's not at all important which dog wins, but simply how far the owners will go to gain the prize.

In scene after scene, the actors throw lines back and forth, and if you look carefully, you'll be able to tell when one actor surprises the other. Such is the beauty of improv. This technique may result in a 'disjointed plot', but the 'three-act structure' isn't really the point here. What Best in Show does offer is a solid handful of belly laughs, thanks to the timing, chemistry and comedic talents of the actors involved.

Watching these performers wrap themselves around these ridiculous characters makes for a fun time indeed. Satire is always funniest when it's smart, and Best in Show is damn smart, even if it is awfully silly. If you find yourself offended by the humor in Best of Show, you're probably a true 'dog freak' and you need to chill.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4475&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/25/00 18:22:44
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User Comments

11/27/11 joshuaprater1979 Hilarious movie! 5 stars
9/14/10 Philo Skinner (terrier king) Huge laffs 5 stars
5/16/10 tangled just wanted to mention that it was a bloodhound and not a daschund... 5 stars
8/26/09 Agorilla I have watched it so much that it is no longer funny, but I didn't go blind either! 5 stars
6/29/09 budo I know what dog shows are like. HILARIOUS movie! 5 stars
12/28/08 Samantha Pruitt very funny and smart, this was a great movie! 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel My absolute favorite Christopher Guest. Not for everyone, but a true comedic gem. 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT YOU KEEP WAITING FOR THE FILM TO START. IT NEVER DOES, THOUGH 1 stars
1/30/07 Shari Hilarious - one of my favorite films ever-I show dogs 5 stars
1/14/07 Yoda This is the sort of pretentious nonsense critics praise. 1 stars
5/01/05 Indrid Cold More clever than funny, but still fairly entertaining. 4 stars
2/23/05 Ayla Hapiak It is very bad. If you want us to enjoy a movie please make it more teenagers movies. 1 stars
1/11/05 Mary Schneider This movie, though not nearly as funny as Waitning for Guffman, is laugh out loud hilarious 5 stars
4/27/04 yaser i have seevthis film now 1 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Get her busy-bee!!! 5 stars
11/04/03 R.W. Welch Semi-improv send-up has a unique comic flavor. Willard is a screech. 4 stars
8/09/03 Will Green 'tis a very good film, one I'd reccommend to anyone. If you don't like it, go fuck your dog 4 stars
7/29/03 cohese A truly fun movie. great. 5 stars
7/15/03 Toria This is the funniest movie I've ever seen. I show dogs and this is so true! 5 stars
6/21/03 John Aster Habig this film brings the underestimated genre of mockumentary to new heights great cast 5 stars
6/08/03 earl hoffert my god, fred willard 5 stars
6/01/03 Jack Bourbon Fred Willard: you sir, made me piss my pants! 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Really great and fun-tastic!! Great perfs and big laughs!! 5 stars
2/01/03 y2mckay Thank god these wackos have dogs, not kids. Hilarious! 4 stars
12/26/02 Charles Tatum Funnier than Waiting for Guffman 5 stars
12/19/02 Adam Parker Posey steals this movie 5 stars
11/22/02 Denise Great flick! I laughed my ass off!!! 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG Parker Posey's character and the husband were SOOOO fucking in need of a reaming 3 stars
6/24/02 blake paker posey did great in this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/29/02 Gary A lot of funny elements, but the mockumentary style kills it. 3 stars
2/23/02 LyonHeart Now THIS is a date movie. See it with your dog. Make it a double with My Dog Skip.... 4 stars
2/19/02 Bart Shore Brilliant. If you own a dog, you must see this. 5 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden It's Worth A Look Just For The Puppies. 4 stars
1/13/02 Phil M. Afficianado Just about a perfect satire/comedy; was in hysterics in places; the ending rocks 5 stars
12/05/01 Skip Young As good if not better than Guffman. Okay, no Spinal Tap, but one of the greatest comedies. 5 stars
9/05/01 malcolm very good -- not as funny as "Guffman" though 4 stars
8/28/01 That Guy I was rolling through the whole thing. 4 stars
7/06/01 SeStA FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY!!!!! This movie is one of the best comedies of all time.Cool dogumentary! 5 stars
5/30/01 Dan Radu Well done. Almost as good as The Tap. 4 stars
5/25/01 Hi-fuckin-larious The name says it all. 5 stars
4/26/01 Brian the "Spinal Tap" of dog shows. More consistent laughs than "Guffman" 4 stars
4/21/01 viking The funniest dog movie I've seen !!! 4 stars
4/11/01 J.Arcane More curling the side of your lips than laugh-out-loud. 3 stars
3/09/01 gmh Film drags a bit until Fred Willard appears 3 stars
3/04/01 Suzz unfunny and dull 2 stars
2/23/01 Scott It's no "Waiting for Guffman" but it is still fun to see the cast together again. 4 stars
2/13/01 Jake This film certainly had its shining moments. 4 stars
1/31/01 Monday Morning Lotsa yocks. Every character had some laugh-out-loud moments. 4 stars
1/18/01 Bub Pretty damn funny! 4 stars
1/12/01 Matt69 Fred Wilard is a fucking riot, and Harlan Pepper's bloodhound fucking rocks. 4 stars
12/04/00 Izzy This is one of the funniest movie that has passed my eyes...I have to see this movie again! 5 stars
11/22/00 Harlan peanut, brazil nut, macadamia nut, red pistachio nut... 5 stars
11/22/00 Elvisfan It was all right, no big deal, not much that was really memorable 3 stars
11/18/00 Mr. X Characters are believable and real without being caricatures. 4 stars
11/16/00 Sylvia Simon Very funny - Parker Posey is a hoot! If you liked "Waiting for Guffman", you'll like it. 4 stars
11/12/00 kramer Very funny with very bizarre characters 4 stars
11/10/00 Heather It's a light, fun movie with great characters 5 stars
11/05/00 Blubberbot I will see every movie Guest makes. 5 stars
11/03/00 Katsat Great characterization, funny, believable, sympathetic, original. Consistently entertaining 5 stars
10/26/00 bullit17 It's not Guffman, but it's still a darned good movie and a fun time 4 stars
10/23/00 natasha would have been even better if Corky had shown up 4 stars
10/16/00 monumentl it's no Waiting For Guffman, but taken on its' own terms, pretty damn funny 4 stars
10/15/00 gilcarlson hysterical picture, Guest is brilliant 4 stars
10/07/00 matthew it was so funny I wet myself and chewed up my master slippers in glee 5 stars
10/04/00 frank the funniest movie i've seen since BATTLEFIELD EARTH 5 stars
10/04/00 Barron Classic on soooo many levels 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Oct-2000 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Apr-2001 (M)




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