Best In Show
Credits: Directed by Christopher Guest and starring Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Bob Balaban, John Michael Higgins, Parker Posey, Jay Brazeau, Michael Hitchcock, Carrie Aizley, Lewis Arquette, Dany Canino, Will Sasso, Stephen E. Miller and Colin Cunningham.
Details: (PG), 90 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: The big day – the Mayflower Dog Show – is fast approaching as a variety of contestants and their human pets from around the country prepare for the triumphs and disappointments in store. Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest) is a shop owner with a Bloodhound; Meg (Parker Posey) and her husband Hamilton (Michael Hitchcock) are a young, calmness-challenged professional couple with a Weimaraner; nerdy salesman Fleck (Eugene Levy) and his bubbly wife-with-a-past, Cookie (Catherine O’Hara) have a Norwich terrier; Scott (John Michael Higgins) and Stefan (Michael McKean) are a gay couple with a couple of Shih Tzus; aged moneybags Leslie (Patrick Cranshaw) and his buxom young wife, Sherri Ann (Jennifer Coolidge) own Standard Poodle, the reigning champion.
Co writer/director, Christopher Guest, and his cast succeed and improvise to stunning effect.
All roads are leading to the Mayflower Dog Show, the most prestigious doggie event in Philadelphia. In Florida Gerry and Cookie - Eugene Levy and Catherine O`Hara - are heading off in their mobile home with their little Norwich terrior Winky. There`s pain in the trip for Gerry because Cookie keeps on running into her ex-lovers who explicitly remember the past and seem to want a future too. Not great for a man with two left feet. Neurotic yuppie couple Meg and Hamilton - Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock - are entering their Weimaraner Beatrice whom they believe has been traumatised by seeing them having sex Kama Sutra style. Gay New York couple Scott and Stefan - John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean - have a ball dressing for the event with their little Shih Tzu Miss Agnes, and buxom blond Sherri Ann, wife of a geriatric millionaire seems to be hitting it off rather well with their new lesbian dog trainer Christy - Jane Lynch. The loner in the midst is backwoods store owner Harlan Pepper played by the film`s co writer/director Christopher Guest who has high hopes for his bloodhound..For the couples at least, these aren`t dogs, they`re children....
Christopher Guest who co-wrote This is Spinal Tap and who made Waiting for Guffman is a fine satirist who doesn`t take cheap shots - well, not many anyway. Even while we`re laughing at his characters` pretentions and neuroses we`re becoming sympathetic towards them. And for anyone who doesn`t understand the finer points of dog shows there is a lamentably crass and ignorant television commentator played by Fred Willard who`s constantly corrected by his very proper British colleague - Jim Piddock. It`s quite an achievement for Guest and his cast who improvise to stunning effect.
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