BEST IN SHOW (2000)

dir. Christopher Guest. The “mockumentary” follow-up to Guest’s WAITING FOR GUFFMAN (1996). We follow five special dogs, and their neurotic owners, as they prepare for the prestigious Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. It’s such a beautiful idea, following a bunch of idiosyncratic dog owners who resemble their own dogs. It’s not as packed with jokes as previous Guest films, but is perhaps more polished, with more character and world building moments, certainly more cringe humour than WAITING FOR GUFFMAN. About half of the film is taken up by the actual Dog Show, and it’s superbly done, when the moment of judgment happens, it’s actually very suspenseful, as thrilling as many sports dramas. All the dogs and owner pairs are wonderful, but my favourite has to be Scott and Stefan Vanderhoof, played by Christopher Guests regular actors, John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean – you can tell they love their dogs so much, and they have the healthiest relationship in the film. I can imagine it would be even more enjoyable for dog lovers, it’s such a fascinating world, and the different dogs are so much fun.