Have you ever seen the Westminster Dog Show?
Each year hundreds of dogs and their owners and handlers compete at the Westminster Dog Show. I think it takes place in Madison Square Garden. USA Networks actually airs the show one Monday and Tuesday night. I like dogs, so I usually watch a little of it, you know, to catch a glimpse of the Chihuahuas and other breeds I like.
I never really thought about what goes into a dog show. Best In Show goes behind the scenes, and it shows how obsessed some of these "dog people" are.
Best In Show is a mockumentary. And it's a good one.
The premise for the movie was written by costars Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest, with Guest also directing. It also features Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara and Indie favorite Parker Posey. Apparently much of the film is improvised, a lot of which was kinda obvious when Fred Willard comes on the screen as the dog show commentator. He's absolutely hilarious in a take off of Joe Garagiola, a former baseball player who for whatever reason is a commentator at the Westminster Dog Show. Jim Piddock was perfect as very prim and proper British dog expert who has the unsavory task of doing commentary along with Willard.
The film follows the lives of a handful of dog owners as they prepare for the big show. Among the funniest is the couple played by Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. Levy is almost as enjoyable here as he was in American Pie. Every character is quirky or just flat out strange. It's scary to think that there may be real people out there that bizarre…and you gotta figure there is.
All of the acting in Best In Show is great. The humor is kinda high brow at times, and kinda dry at others, but for the most part it works pretty well. Most of this group worked together on another well received film, Waiting For Guffman, so I'm gonna have to check that out too.