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Friday, November 13, 2009

"Best in Show" -- Writer's Challenge

Some may not know this but I was very involved with my dogs in obedience, hiking, carting, herding, therapy and yes I did show one of my females in the breed ring. Looking from the outside the breed ring appears very organized but once you are in the thick of it...well let's just say "it's not what it appears to be". So even though the movie "Best of Show" is pinned as a satire, actually it's very close to reality, although most dog people will never admit it!

The Cast of Characters:

Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest), owns a fly-fishing shop in Pine Nut, NC. Although bloodhounds normally are not a showy dog, Harlan is hoping his Bloodhound, Hubert, will win the title Best of Show. (I've seen one showy Bloodhound at the 2001 Westminster Show, Ch Ridge Runner Unforgettable aka Fanny. And Fanny showed her hiney off and the crowd loved her..what a fun dog!)

From Chicago, married attorneys, anal and uptight Meg and Hamilton Swan (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock) have a total melt down from the minute they enter the hotel until their neurotic Weinmaraner, Beatrice, enters the ring. Busy Bee will forever be burned into your memory.

In Fern City, Florida, mild-mannered salesman Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy) and his scintillating wife, Cookie (Catherine O'Hara), are preparing for their trip to NYC with their Norwich Terrier, Winky. On the way to NY they are planning a side trip to visit one of Cookie's former friends.

Home grown NYers, professional dog handler Scott Donlan (John Michael Higgis) and his longtime partner, hair salon owner Stefan Vanderhoof (Michael McKean), are preparing for what they hope is a win for their prized Shih Tzus, Miss Agnes.

Fabulously wealthy and elderly Leslie Ward Cabot (Patrick Cranshaw) and his voluptuous young wife, Sherri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge), owners of two-time Mayflower Best of Show winner, Standard Poodle, Rhapsody In White aka Butch. Sherry Ann is taking no chances on a 3-peat and has hired professional handler Christy Cummings (Jane Lynch) to assist in Butch's dominance in the ring.

At the Mayflower Dog Show, there is hurried last minute activity preparing all the details for the big event. And supervising is Mayflower Kennel Club President Dr. Theodore W. Millbank III (Bob Balaban) and the show's chairman, Graham Chissolm (Don Lake). Trevor Beckwith (Jim Piddock) and Buck Laughlin (Fred Willard) are the Mayflower dog show commentators.

Afterwards, the film explores what each character is doing after the competition. Gerry and Cookie returned home to Florida and were overcome with attention after the victory at the Mayflower. They go on to record, in amusingly bad style, songs about dogs. Sherri Ann and Christy have entered into a partnership and publish a magazine for lesbian purebred dog owners called "American Bitch". Harlan fulfills his dreams and becomes a ventriloquist, entertaining sparse crowds with a honky tonk song and dance number. Hamilton and Meg Swan have found a new dog, one that enjoys watching them make love, and are sure it will be a winner. Stefan and Scott are in the process of designing a calendar featuring their Shih Tzu dogs, Agnes and Tyrone, appearing in scenes, with appropriate costume, from famous classic films, such as "Gone with the Wind" and "Casablanca".

The Castle Rock Entertainment production is directed by Christopher Guest and written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. The film is produced by Karen Murphy. Gordon Mark is the executive producer. The film is released by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Writer's Challenge, Favorite Movies, is hosted by dear, sweet Lori of Family Tree May Contain Nuts. Please visit Family Tree May Contain Nuts to read some more interesting and fun movie reviews.

I know there are way too many videos for one blog post. But they are so funny, I could not eliminate any of them. Please sit back, relax and take the time to laugh!

Harlan and his bloodhound, Hubert

Starbucks, J. Crew, Meg and Hamilton:

Meg, Hamilton and Beatrice behind the scenes of the Mayflower Dog Show:

Stefan and Scott checking into the hotel:

Stefan and Scott at the butcher shop with Agnes and Tyrone:

A walk down memory lane as Cookie and Jerry tell of how they met:

Cookie, Jerry and Winky behind the scenes at the Mayflower Dog Show:

Sherri Ann and her "husband":

Christie and Sherri Ann explain their new relationship:

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Lori E said...

Oh Michelle, a fabulous choice. I love this movie too. I was laughing while reading this remembering those characters.
Yes the visit to Cookie's "friend" was a great time.
Jane Lynch is on the show Glee now. I love her.
Eugene Levi and Catherine O'Hara are such a great team. Perfect together.
Thanks so much for joining in. I will now have to rent this one again and laugh my @$$ off.

mbkatc230 said...

Great choice Michelle. I used to show whippets, and this movie is alot more true than many of my friends will admit. It actually caused one of the 3 messiest movie theatre incidents I've ever witnessed - me spewing coke out of my nose! (the other 2 involved a giant bucket of popcorn being thrown into the air during Jaws, and my friend Rhonda's infamous pants wetting incident at the end of Carrie) The butcher shop scene is one of my favorites. I always had a friend cook the liver bait for my Christy because the smell just gags me. Thanks for reminding me of this funny, funny movie. I'll have to watch it again. Kathy

Joyce said...

The movie was so funny and some of the peoples personalities reflected the breed of their dogs. After watching the movie we even started to go to dog shows when we were living in San Francisco and found them so interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience and view of the movie.

glamah16 said...

You are cracking me up . Great choice. Love these sort of quirky movies.I remember Busy Bee!

susan said...

Michelle-I am an avid movie goer and have not seen all of the movies in Lori's challenge--great for making my list. I have not seen Best in Show and the closest thing in reality I have seen is a field trial--but those get intense. I am going back and watch the videos--just wanted to say hi and thanks for the movie tip!

Terry said...

I don't know how they make folks so crazy and so real and likable at the same time. I crack up just hearing the title, "A Mighty Wind," you know? (Thanks so much for visiting my place.)