Dog shows have never intrested me, they seem to bring out the worst in dogs. Dogs where not made to perform tricks, they were made to sit at there masters side and and have accidents on your carpet.
Its for this reason that Best in Show is such a clever film, Christopher Guest’s mockumentry ridicules the ficitonal Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philidelphia. the film uses every stereotype and satirical joke it can find often built around the brilliant improvisation seen in the film the movie introduces severel dogs and there owners, who are seen in there natural habitats and then follows there journeys to the kennel club and through the show. where a clueles, missinformed Buck Laughiln played by Fred Willard emcees the event, asking questions about bribing judges, confusing Columbo with the pilgrims and deciding the blood hound would have better chance wearing a sherlock holmes hat and pipe.
Often the owners of the dogs seem more inbread then there purebread counterparts, for exanple Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy) who was born with two left feet quite littery, and his wife cookie (Catherine O’Hara) whos well known among the kennel clube for her mating habbits, a running joke through out the film is gerry angerd look as another man talks to his wife about time they spent together. The Characters of Meg and Hamilton Swan, Played by Parker Posy and Micheal Hitchcock respectivley, fell in love when there eyes met through Starbucks windows on opposite sides of the street, are horrified when there beloved dog Beatrice can no longer function after she watched them have sex, even therapy couldnt get her through it. Thes Harlan Pepper played by writter and director Christopher Guest, whos love for his blood hound and nuts knows no bounds. Then there is Stefan Vanderhoof (Michael McKean) and Scott Donlon (John Michael Higgins) a gay couple with twin Shih Tzus who gossip frequently about the other dogs and owners throughout the film. Finally there is Sherri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge) and her OAP millionaire husband, and there lesbian dog training dominatrix who has bought there poodle “Rhapsody in White” to victory for two years running.
As with most mockumentries, the ending is in fact the dog show itself, the final brings all the owers and dogs together. whilst occassionally films of this genre slow down towards the end the tension created by the competition keeps it on track, up the finally and the “what happened next” section.
Guest proves he is king of the mockumentry, a genre he helped create with “This Is Spinal Tap” and other films like “Waiting for Guffman” which started a cast of similar character and a similarly improvised script. Guest managed to take something as borring as a dog show and turn it into a tension filled, comedic film, I look forward to his next mockumentry