Best in Show

Rating: NNNNNBEST IN SHOW (Christopher Guest, 2000) is giddy, good-hearted fun. Guest's follow-up to Waiting For Guffman centres around obsessive.


Rating: NNNNN


BEST IN SHOW (Christopher Guest, 2000) is giddy, good-hearted fun. Guest’s follow-up to Waiting For Guffman centres around obsessive dog-show contestants on their way to a national competition. Starting with this loose structure, Guest and writing partner Eugene Levy created character profiles for the ensemble cast, mostly Guffman graduates who begged to work with Guest again, and allowed them to improvise their dialogue. The plot never quite takes off — the dog show itself is anticlimactic — but oh, those kooky characters. From the moment they introduce themselves to the camera in Guest’s patented mockumentary style, you can see the actors’ synapses firing in all directions. My personal best in show goes to Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Lynch as the vapid wife of a nearly dead millionaire and the lesbian dog handler who loves her. But Fred Willard also earns a prize for his zestfully irrelevant commentary on the dog show action. Those who think Guest’s comedy is lightweight overlook the fact that, despite their eccentricities and obsessions, all the couples in this film seem genuinely in love. This refreshing design bumps Best In Show up a notch from merely funny. NNNN (March 13-14, Music Hall March 14, Revue)

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