Best of
lMovie Review
"Best in Show"
By Mira Harber
     Christopher Guest, the director of Waiting for Guffman has come out with another 'mockumentary,'  this time aimed at the world of dog shows. Guest uses his regular stable of performers including Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey (queen of the indies), Fred Willard & Micheal McKean.
Even the smallest of roles are memorably played by performers Larry Miller and Ed Begley Jr. Each and every part is played to perfection, and is hilarious, sad and touching in its own way.
     The best in show refers to the 'best of the best,' the one dog that has not only won its category (hounds, terriers, toys, sporting dogs, etc.) but is declared the best dog in the show. There is intense competition in this world, but we never make fun of these people, rather we catch a glimpse into their unusual world. The people who love and enter their dogs are as different as the dogs themselves. The cast of characters includes a sportsman & his bloodhound (Guest) who look eerily like one another, a 40-ish sexpot (O'Hara) and her nerdy, all-accepting husband (Levy), an uber-uptight-yuppie couple, a gay hairdresser couple, and an ancient man (he looks to be 1001) and his lusty, young, VERY made up wife. All of these people and their dogs make it to the final round.
     When they arrive in Philadelphia for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show, we see the contestants and their dogs check into their hotel. The hotel manager (Ed Begley Jr.) is played with a touchingly sympathetic manner as he deals with the contestants problems ranging from losing credit and staying in the broom closet to losing a dogs' favorite toy (now that is a tragedy!).
     One of the dog show commentators is Fred Willard, and he is totally hilarious in his obliviousness and ignorance. Watch out for Eugene Levy in the final competition - he gives the term 'two left feet' a new meaning.
     I don't own a dog, and never have, but I found this little gem of a movie thouroughly enjoyable (and I even learned something about dog shows, but don't let that worry you). It's the kind of movie that you think about and laugh at, days after you've left the theater. (Dixon Amhest & Market Arcade).


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