Dogumentary Style
Best in Show
Review by Ross Anthony

If you can't get enough of the mockumentary genre ... here's another one from Christopher Guest (lead guitarist Nigel of "Spinal Tap") and Eugene Levy (bumbling father in "American Pie" and much earlier sketch comic with SCTV). These two funny men loosely drew up the script together, "Our outline gives a very solid blueprint to the actors so they know ... to get from point A to point B, but how they do it is largely up to them," says Levy. Both costar in the film while Guest directs.

The Documentary follows five couples on their quest to win the Mayflower "Best In Show" cup for their pretty purebred pets. Out of fabulous Fern City, Florida comes the husband and wife team, Cookie and Gerry (Levy). Cookie's pre-marriage swinging provides the fuel for follies with nerdy hubby Gerry.

Yuppie Starbucks types, Meg and Hamilton, broadcast most of the stress and dysfunction, with relationship tension as tight as the wires in their full-mouth braces.

Harlan Pepper (Guest), a fly fisherman from North Carolina, can name every type of nut in the forest and moonlights as a veteran home ventriloquist.

Scott and Stefan are the gay couple; while voluptuous Sherri says of wealthy aged husband, "We have a lot in common. We both like soup," and "We can always find something to not talk about for hours."

Fred Willard nails the bit part of color commentator, a hundred times more knowledgeable about baseball than dogs. His canine-inanities are fielded by a low-key British expert. The frisky contrast of the two is sparkling.

All involved do a strong job of improvisational acting. The direction and editing is tight and the humor very often delightfully dry. I enjoyed it.

  • Best in Show. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Catherine O'Hara, John Michael Higgins, Michael McKean, Patrick Cranshaw, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Bob Balaban, Don Lake, Jim Piddock and Fred Willard.
  • Directed by Christopher Guest.
  • Written by Guest and Levy.
  • Produced by Karen Murphy at Castle Rock.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:01 PDT