Best in Show (2000) with  guestwriter & a review by Matt Deitchley of GeneralTomfoolery.com

Shake a leg, The 125th Annual Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show is back and plenty of bitches (dog jokes!) will be strutting their stuff to land the blue ribbon. Think that doesn’t sound very exciting? Obviously you haven’t been to a dog show lately. They’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need… THE EDDDDDDDGE!

Besides all the sniffing of privates, there are plenty of eclectic human dog handlers, and you’ll follow a smattering of them as they compete for Best in Show during this enlightening documentary mockumentary. Still not impressed? You will be, because they’re all are crazier than a shithouse Bichon Frise.

Meet Gerry and Cookie Fleck and their Norwich Terrier “Winky”: Gerry’s a regular Nerdlinger Von Dorkus suburbanite, and Cookie’s that one “popular” girl who boned everyone in high school and beyond, and now keeps running into old lays. Oh and their dog’s name is a euphemism for dongs.

Meet Harlan Pepper and his Bloodhound “Hubert”: Harlan’s a good-natured hick who enjoys fly-fishin’ and the creepiest pastime ever invented: ventriloquism. Also, his dog… holy crap, I can’t stop picturing those terrifying ventriloquist dummies, they give me the willies!

Meet Scott Donlan and Stefan Vanderhoof and their Shih Tzu “Miss Agnes”: They’re a hilariously-campy gay couple who enjoy making jokes about sausage and travelling with no less than 30 kimonos at a time. Oh, and did I mention, camp, camp, caaaaaa-amp!

Also there’s a nutty yuppie couple with a Weimaraner, who have an unhealthy obsession with Starbucks and L.L. Bean, and a Lesbian couple with a Standard Poodle named “Butch”. Get it? (Lesbian jokes!)

Who will win Best in Show? How many dogs will take a dump in the Winner’s Circle? And why does the dog show’s announcer want to put miniature jockeys on the Greyhounds? The answer is one Lhasa Apso away, if you can just keep from piddling on the floor.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I try so hard to love this movie, because all my friends do, but I just don’t.  Sorry.  I guess I’m just the dick of the group because I don’t think this is all that funny.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Fred Willard. He could read the ingredients on my toothpaste and I would laugh, but sadly he is the only thing I like about this movie.  I am just not a huge fan of Christopher Guest’s films; they don’t do anything for me.  To the casual comedy fan I think this is worth a watch, but I’m not all gay for it like my cohorts.  Tim and Matt get talking about this movie, then they start to laugh; but then their eyes lock and it gets real quiet.  Typically they will start making out and/or engage in heavy-petting, and sometimes clothing articles are removed.  They’re really pationate about this one. Alex Rates This Movie 6/10

Tim’s Thoughts: This is absolutely one of the funniest movies of all time. The brilliance of the actors combined with the director’s instincts to let shots linger, make this a joy to watch. I personally like A Mighty Wind a little bit more (only because of my love of the music) this is a much more universal movie. I can’t defend Alex, he doesn’t like Big Lewbowski, and now this……wow, at least he acknowledges that Fred Willard left to run rampant is one of the most underrated and funny men in Hollywood. There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of people who watch this will really enjoy it, and while you are watching remember, most of the dialogue is made up on the spot. Tim Rates This Movie 10/10 (And Matt is wrong is about This Is Spinal Tap, but to be fair to him, he likes that movie, just not as much as me.)

Matt’s Thoughts: If you’ve seen any of the other Christopher Guest “mockumentaries” (Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind), you probably already have a pretty firm opinion on this type of film. In my experience, Christopher Guest movies fall into their very own ‘love it or hate it’ genre. But, for some people, Best in Show may buck that trend.

This is, by far, the funniest of all Guest’s mockumentaries, and also (don’t hate me Tim) it’s even funnier than This Is Spinal Tap (another beloved mockumentary that stars Christopher Guest, but is not directed by him). If you’re brand new to Guest’s mockumentaries, Best in Show is definitely the best way to wade in. It’s improvisational comedy at its best and most accessible. Just like you don’t have to be a Wes Anderson fan to like The Royal Tenenbaums, you don’t have to be a Christopher Guest fan to like Best in Show. The characters are quirky enough to be hilarious, yet real enough to root for. And Fred Willard, as the dog show color commentator, is laugh out loud brilliant.

My best selling point for Best in Show is this: My wife hates this type of movie. She had no interest in seeing it. So I “conveniently” started watching it while she was in the room, and she wasn’t really paying attention. Within a few minutes she was watching, laughing… and hooked. She still hates the genre, yet loved Best in Show and thought it was hilarious. Matt Rates This Movie 10/10

“I went to one of those obedience places once… it was all going well until they spilled hot candle wax on my private parts. “

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue

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