you familiar with Christopher Guest? His now infamous This
Is Spinal Tap (which he wrote-Rob Reiner directed) exposed
his style of off-the-cuff improvisational barely scripted,
sarcastic pokes at the stuffy documentary- the "mocumentary."
Then he came up with Waiting For Guffman (hunt it down
like a rabid wallaby -if you have not seen it). Now Guest
turns his visceral eyeballs towards the seemingly innocent
lives behind a dog show. Actually, the pomp and stance, behemoth
egos, whacko human natures and pathetic clueless lower echelon
of intelligence behind the dog show.
Chris follows his tried and true MO ; getting comedy/acting
talent together on a set, giving them the theme and concept,
then rolling the film. Guest is creating not movie kucka,
as you may fear, but unique and down right funny stufaamahgawll.
goes...Philadelphia is hosting a big time doggie show- The
Mayflower Kennel Club Show. We lucky viewers get to go behind
the scenes and meet the contestants-Guest style.
There's dog owner/contestant Harlan Pepper (Baron-legit, not
just to get better seating at Emeril's-Christopher Guest )
who's not a bright watted bulb. He dimly recites various nuts
of the world and other hit-your-head-against-a-wall dullities
till your pleading for another Gore/Bush debate for the excitement
of their oratorical deliveries! Harlan's duuulll. Physically,
Guest makes him a walking L.L. Bean catalog (though Harlan
wouldn't even know what L.L. Bean was- a tropical nut in the
vanilla family perhaps?). Pepper is proud as a cock at an
all gal chicken farm over his award winning Bloodhound-who
has telepathic powers...mmkay?
also meet the Flecks. Gerry Fleck (Eugene " Caterpillar
Brow" Levy ) and Cookie Fleck (Catherine "Still
a Looker" O'Hara) are middle-class tack- infested- city
hillbilles- with- better home-bumpkins from Florida.
Their small odd world revels around their spoiled Terrier,
Winky. The Fleck's counterparts ( O'Hara and Levy) happen
to be a couple of my all time favorite comedians- enjoy
I should mention this again...Best In Show's "script"
was strictly a storyboard outline- no concrete dialog.
The actors ad libbed their lines- bouncing off each other
with rapid precision (like Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe 200
miles north of Sydney-about now). I'd like to see Adam Sandler
attempt that- well, and actually BE FUNNY.
also get to meet the Swans. Meg (Parker Posey ) and Hamilton
(Michael Hitchcock) who are just plane old neurosis filled
vials of human phlegm. They are frighteningly identifiable.
Two completetly self-absorbed- Latte lite sipping- Crew wearing-designer
condom flushing-whack jobs unaware of their own idiosyncrasies
and obsessive compulsions-then, be fair, isn't everyone? Tearjerkingly
couple Scott (John Michael Higgins) and his lover Stefan (Michael
McKean) are true scene stealers. Call them caricatures with
soul. What is it about gay males that is just so cool?
Sure they redecorate their hotel room for a two night stay,
sure they pack fifteen Kimonos for the weekend-who doesn't
...but what is it...Oh, yeah, they too love
men. Tall men, short men, manly men with bulging ...Sorry.
They have a shitzonyou, er Shitzu in the competition.
Guest takes two more American stereo types and sautés
them up for your fancy. The quintessential gold digger-ala
Anna Nicole Smith, a Sheri Ann Ward Cabot (Jennifer "Puffy
Lips" Coolidge) married to a one- foot- in -the- grave
fossil , with her androgynous is-she-or- isn't- she-a clam-digger
dog handler, Christy (Jane Lynch). The trio have a standard
POODLE- natch-in the show.
parts are also played to perfection by some familiar faces...Larry
Miller as a rude and crass one-of-a-gizzilion ex-lovers of
Cookie Fleck. Fred Willard as a straight faced all around
jackass who narrates the proceedings at the show. Many more
Any good looking men you ask? Guest is a studly man
kabob- but he's been married forever to perky Jamie Lee Curtis-
she'd kick our buttocks real good if we so much as softly
tickled the man on the side of his strong jawed facial area
with our over zealous tongues. You can ogle at Levy (above
with O'Hara)...Now Eugene's what I call a full- fat- heavy-
cream- man soufflé gals...be good no hootin' and hollarin'
and the theater now.
Charlies-not a babe in the whole darn thing-your plum outta
luck thisin' time around.
your into Guest's past endeavors, run, go, rent. If not, be
his guest at a fresh- funny- fantastic kind of movie making.
Snack Recommendation: Fried Fish and walnuts.
Christopher Guest, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene
Levy, Catherine O'Hara, John Michael Higgins, Michael McKean,
Patrick Cranshaw, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch , Bob Balaban,
Don Lake, Jim Piddock, Fred Willard, and Ed Begley Jr.
by: Christopher Guest
by: Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy ( though mostly
ad libbed by the extraordinary cast)