IN SHOW (2000)
Coolidge, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock,
Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Larry Miller, Catherine O'Hara,
Parker Posey and Fred Willard.
Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy.
Distributed by Castle
Rock Entertainment. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Christopher Guest's Waiting For Guffman
may be the funniest film of the 90s. Between that film and
This Is Spinal Tap, Guest has become the master of the
mostly-improvised mock documentary. After a misguided step into the
Hollywood mainstream (directing the Chris Farley/Matthew Perry stinker
Almost Heroes), Guest has returned to the arena that he excels at.
Okay, let's get to the point now. No, Best In Show is not as funny
as Guffman. But, yes, it is still damn funny. Much of this has to
do with the subject matter, a Dog Show and it's wacky owners is just a tamer
target than local theater geeks. Using much of the same cast and crew as
Guffman, Guest is also more generous here. Instead of being the
center ring of the craziness, Harlan Pepper, the character that Guest plays,
is just a stoic, nice and rather dull character.
Instead, the ball is run
out by Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins as a middle-aged gay couple
and Eugene Levy as a jealous man whose wife's (Catherine O'Hara) old
boyfriends are lurking behind every corner. The movie is funny at this
point, but it doesn't totally take off until Fred Willard shows up as an
ex-jock sportscaster who somehow got assigned to do play-by-play. Willard
puts the film on his back and carries it to the finish line by himself,
bringing forth a zaniness that makes the movie sparkle. In the end, it's no
crime that Best of Show is not quite as funny as its predecessor.
It's still better than 90% of the films coming out of Hollywood these days.
Jay S. Jacobs
© 2000 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Revised:
August 22, 2021.
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© 2000 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved.
Revised: August 22, 2021.