It’s time once again for the Mayflower Kennel Club competition, the Super Bowl of dog shows. Dogs and their owners come from all over the country to compete, and hopefully take home the top honor—to be named Best In Show.
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You don't realize how much you miss Guest and co. until you revisit them and their comedies about oddball subcultures. Theirs is caricature without condescension, full of irresistible comic detail. And while I don't suspect their north star is anything other than "what's funny?", the laughs do justice to us "Mayflower" people: no matter your social strata, to be American is to share some same fundamental insanity.
This is likely Christopher Guest's most accessible mockumentary, with a bevy of adorable dogs in front of the camera and a significantly less amount of 'cringe' compared to "Waiting for Guffman's" "Gummo"-esque cast of outcasts. But that's no knock - while it may lack a certain subversive edge, it's no less hilarious or charming. Special mention must be made of the brilliant Fred Willard as the film's comedic MVP.
Really expertly structured, filmed, and acted, to say nothing of the fluid montages. I'm always up for a laugh with Guest, although there's something markedly dated about Best in Show that I can't put my finger on.
For a cultural juggernaut - such an outrageous level of influence on 21st century American comedy (and this one most of all because many characters receive the redemptive arch that cuts away the bite of so much American satire these days) -- Best in Show feels unassuming. Even humble. But no, this has designs on the world. We can talk about how evil those are, but it's hard to deny it doesn't perfectly execute.
I laugh more, notice more nuances (if not exactly subtleties), admire more in both performance/characterization and montage each time I watch this one, which at first seemed to me markedly less comically rewarding than WAITING FOR GUFFMAN
Probably the funniest of the Christopher Guest movies, with too many brilliant performances to count. What's done to the characters can be disturbingly mean-spirited, but you have to expect that from a Guest film, and until the epilogue (which is just plain sadistic in some cases) it all rings true. Props to that poor Weimeraner for putting up with such awful (if hilarious) emotional abuse from 'mommy and daddy.'