Best in Show (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Best in Show (2000)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A fine example of writer-director-star Christopher Guest's gift for improv comedy, Best in Show boasts an appealingly quirky premise and a brilliantly talented cast.

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Movie Info

A "behind the scenes" look into the highly competitive and cut-throat world of dog-shows through the eyes of a group of ruthless dog owners including: yuppies Hamilton and Meg Swan and their neurotic weimeraner "Beatrice"; mild-mannered menswear salesman Gerry and Cookie Fleck, whose Norwich terrier's registered name is "Champion Thank You Neil Sedaka"; fly-fishing shop owner Harlan Pepper and his beloved bloodhound "Hubert"; New Yorker Scott Donlon and his longtime hairdresser partner, Stefan Vanderhoof, who anticipate the crown for their pampered shih tzus "Miss Agnes" and "Tyrone"; and the champion poodle "Rhapsody in White" who might just snare the title for the third year running.
Rating:
PG-13 (for language and sex-related material)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$16,574,225.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Eugene Levy
as Gerry
Bob Balaban
as Dr. Millbank
Jane Lynch
as Christy
Jim Piddock
as Trevor
Ed Begley Jr.
as Hotel Manager
Don Lake
as Graham Chissolm
Jay Brazeau
as Dr. Chuck Nelken
Linda Kash
as Fay Berman
Larry Miller
as Max Berman
Cody Greg
as Zach Berman
Carrie Aizley
as Fern City Show Spectator
Lewis Arquette
as Fern City Show Spectator
Dany Canino
as Fern City Show Judge
Will Sasso
as Fishin' Hole Guy
Stephen E. Miller
as Fishin' Hole Guy
Colin Cunningham
as New York Butcher
Teryl Rothery
as Philly AM Host
Tony Alcantar
as Philly AM Chef
Camille Sullivan
as Phlly AM Assistant
Dave Cameron
as Philly AM Host
Jay-Lyn Green
as Leslie's Nurse
Jehshua Barnes
as Scott's Wild Date
Earlene Luke
as Mayflower Hound Judge
Harold Pybus
as Mayflower Toy Judge
Cleo A. Laxton
as Mayflower Terrier Judge
Corrine Koslo
as Mayflower Sporting Judge
Andrew Wheeler
as Mayflower Ring Steward
Don Emslie
as Mayflower Non-Sporting Judge
Don S. Davis
as Mayflower Best in Show Judge
Melanie Angel
as `American Bitch' Photo Editor
Doane Gregory
as Terry the Photographer
Hiro Kanagawa
as Pet Shop Owner
Scott Williamson
as Winky's Party Guest
Deborah Theaker
as Winky's Party Guest
Rachael Harris
as Winky's Party Guest
Fulvio Cecere
as Airport Passerby
Lynda Boyd
as Cabot Party Guest
Madeleine Kipling
as Cabot Party Guest
Merrilyn Gann
as Cabot Party Guest
Andrew Johnston
as Cabot Party Guest
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News & Interviews for Best in Show

Critic Reviews for Best in Show

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (29)

...it's always a pleasure to watch this ensemble of gifted talents do what they do best -- be spontaneous and funny and surprising. What we get is a master-class demonstration of the distinction between comic actors and comedians who try to act.

Full Review… | February 8, 2008
Film.com
Top Critic

Best in Show is essentially a well-organized, exquisitely nuanced skit comedy.

January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

This is one rare occasion when we can be glad that the film industry is going to the dogs.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
ReelViews
Top Critic

The dogs may be cute, but it's the people who steal the show.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Salon.com
Top Critic

A wickedly funny mocumentary.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Alas, Best in Show probably won't find the big audience in theaters it deserves, but it will have a long life in living rooms thereafter.

January 1, 2000
Film.com
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Best in Show

½

Number three out of five in a string of mockumentary movies that Christopher Guest has had a hand in writing, directing and of course starring. In my humble opinion this is probably the second most well known of the five with 'This Is Spinal Tap' being the clear winner in that field. The simple premise behind this film is a dog show (in America of course), a dog show much like the famous British dog show Crufts. In fact the show in this movie is actually, supposedly, based upon a real dog show that takes place in New York each year, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. We the viewer follow the day to day lives of a set of dog owners and their preparation for the show, the ordeals during the show, and the eventual full outcome. The film is naturally in a documentary style with hand held cameras and many interviews on the fly as the adventures of each dog team is closely watched every bit of the way. Its of no surprise of course that the dog teams are a varied larger than life bunch of people for maximum comedic effect. You have the flamboyant gay couple portrayed by Guest movie regular Michael McKean and John Higgins. McKean being the older, wiser, more conservatively dressed gent of the duo, whilst Higgins is the younger, fitter, spiritual, better looking toyboy of the couple who dresses flamboyantly. The pair own a small fluffy Shih Tzu which I guess you could say compliments their lifestyle? or is that too stereotypical to say? surely that was the idea though? Anyway, next up is Guest himself playing a small town hick type with a bloodhound. Other regular Guest movie team players Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara play a married couple, Levy of course being the nerdy half the couple, whilst O'Hara is, or was, a bit of a slut. Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock play an executive yuppie-esque husband and wife couple that have major anger/lifestyle issues, Parker Posey's character is highly neurotic causing virtually all of the panic and grief. And finally Jennifer Coolidge plays a big dumb blonde (unsurprisingly) who is a trophy wife for some very old dude, but at the same time she is actually having an affair with their dog trainer, played by Jane Lynch. We spend small amounts of time with each dog owner as each of their stories progress. Starting at their various homes across the country as they all begin their journey's to the show, how they look after their dogs, arrival, accommodation and of course the actual show group by group. As I have already said, each of the dog owners have their own unique, over the top quirks which are admittedly predictable and cliche, but at the same time well performed. The main humour in the movie is watching how each of these people go about their daily routines with themselves and of course their dogs. Its highly engaging to watch the gay couple and the way they act (and dress), their different styles (think 'The Birdcage'), naturally their little pooch is spoilt rotten. Parker Posey's character is a complete nervous wreck, severely neurotic and a total bitch because of it, I found this (her) to be quite sexy actually. Watching her and her other half fight over petty little things is actually really fun, you feel awkward and embarrassed just watching, the performances are that good. The duo are like a car crash, you just can't help but look, its almost like morbid curiosity to watch these people fight and bicker in public. Guest himself doesn't actually play that much of an interesting character, a humble hick that sounds a bit slow, he has his little idiosyncrasies of course but nothing that is outstandingly funny. His character is actually the most regular and less outrageous of the bunch. Eugene Levy and O'Hara are probably the most cliched pairing in the movie (the stereotypical gays aside), I think it was obvious that Levy would be some kind of geek, and boy do they pile on the geek here, even giving him two left feet to appear even more pathetic. It is amusing to watch these two as they meet up with various people on their travels, the gag being Cookie (O'Hara) keeps bumping into blokes she once slept with back in the day. The whole angle is kinda corny admittedly but its Levy's reactions you're looking out for. Lastly the weakest of the lot goes to Coolidge as the blonde bimbo having an affair with her female dog trainer. Jane Lynch holds her own well as you'd expect, but I feel they could gone further with these two, a bit more naughty perhaps, it all just felt a bit bland and lacking. The highlight of the film is the actual show of course, and it doesn't disappoint visually that's for sure. Pretty much looks like they used a real venue for the show, a packed capacity of extras, plenty of real dog owners...probably real competitors, probably real judges etc...the works. It also appears that the cast genuinely did train with the dogs and go through the hoops with them as it were, it all looks very real, true to the documentary style. Set against this level of realism is the typically brash all American commentator played by Fred Willard who kills it! This guy really ups the game so to speak, his obvious lack of any knowledge on the proceedings, along with his stereotypically fast sports style of commentary is brilliantly funny at times. The fact that he is partnered up with a smart, well spoken, no-nonsense Brit commentator (Jim Piddock) makes this scenario all the more delicious. Seeing Piddock's British dog expert character smiling politely at Willard's loud lowbrow American commentator as he comes out with his inane foot-in-mouth comments, is a glory to behold. The movie is obviously all about stereotypes and satire, all the characters are typically cliche and predictable, behaving exactly how you would expect them too. I guess all Guest movies are in the same vein character wise, but this one felt more so to me. What did surprise me was the fact I was actually engaged in the plot, lets be honest here when you read that the film is all about a dog show, you could be forgiven for thinking the premise might not appeal. Again though, this does appear to be a typical Guest trait, choosing quite unusual (and generally mundane) plot scenarios that befit everyday life for everyday folk, to a degree, but not always. This just goes to show how good the comedy, writing and improv work is from all involved, that and its an original concept too, which is a breath of fresh air (give it a chance). I think anyone who knows what to expect from Guest will undoubtedly enjoy this, people not in know may need a bit more time to get into it, but I'm sure will get the hang of it quickly (surely everyone knows what to expect with Eugene Levy involved).

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The most brilliant offering from Christopher Guest, with a fantastically versatile and talented troupe of improv performers. True genius at work in this film, at every level.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

½

Christopher Guest directs this very funny mockumentary that is supported by a great cast of actors. Best in Show is one crazy film, and if you love these types of films then give it a shot. Best in Show takes a look at the competitive dog shows, and makes fun of it by showing how ridiculous some competitors get. This is a good film that is wonderfully directed and acted. Best in Show is a funny mockumentary and is one of Christopher Guest's best films. I enjoyed the film very much, and the cast delivered funny, quirky and crazy performances. Best in Show is one of the funniest mockumentaries in a while, and this is a must see for people who enjoy mockumentaries. Best in Show captures the craziness that surrounds competitive dog shows perfectly. Though at times, the film misses the mark, there is enough good things going on on-screen to make this watchable, and with the great cast that Christopher Guest has at hand, the film works well enough to be a memorable comedy. Best in Show has enough laughs to keep you interested and it delivers a new type of comedic film going experience. Sure the film is not perfect, but it's guaranteed to make you laugh. Best in Show is one of the funniest mockumentaries since this is Spinal Tap, and is very entertaining with this cast of crazy actors. A fun film that's worth watching, and is a must see for dog lovers as well.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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