Best in Show (2000)



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Long before The Office, there was This is Spinal Tap, a mockumentary following a rock band during the height of 1980s hair metal. Christopher Guest stared as Nigel Tufnel, the lead guitarist whos amp went to eleven. In the 1990s Guest spun around to the other side of the camera to make some of the best mockumentaries ever. Best in Show may be the pinnacle of his work.

Mockumentaries need to come from a place of appreciation. Hobbyists in anything looks crazy from an outside perspective. Best in Show is an over-the-top representation fo the highest level of dog shows. It doesn’t hurt that the cast is an all-star list of comedians, most of which had worked with Guest before.

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara have been playing a couple for decades. Their interplay is as wonderful in this film as in Schitt’s Creek. Jennifer Coolidge channels an Anna Nicole Smith type character with a secret relationship with Jane Lynch. Ed Begley Jr. plays a deadpan hotel manager trying his best to not respond to the absurdity around him. Fred Willard is the clueless color commentator that must have inspired Jason Bateman's character in Dodgeball. Christopher Guest even puts himself in as Bloodhound owner with the funniest show walk.

While Guest’s other mockumentaries may also be funny, this one has dogs. Even if you are not a dog person, the way the characters swoon over their furry friends will make you laugh. This movie should make even those that participate in dog shows laugh. This is a universal comedy perfect to pick up your mood on a down day in a tight hour and a half.

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©2019 by Sean Whitehurst