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"BEST IN SHOW"
(2000) (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Mild Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Mockumentary: Various dog owners prepare for the Mayflower Dog Show in this mockumentary about how far people will go to win through their pets.
PLOT:
It's time for the annual Mayflower Dog Show and various canine owners and fanatics across the country are preparing for the big event and traveling to Philadelphia. Among them are yuppie Illinois lawyers Meg (PARKER POSEY) and Hamilton Swan (MICHAEL HITCHCOCK), who are about as uptight as one could imagine, worrying both about the competition and the effects that their sex life has on Beatrice, their Weimaraner.

Then there's Gerry (EUGENE LEVY) and Cookie Fleck (CATHERINE O'HARA) from Fern City, Florida. Driving up the east coast with their Norwich Terrier, Winky, they encounter various past lovers of Cookie's, few of which Gerry was previously aware. From Pine Nut, North Carolina comes Harlan Pepper (CHRISTOPHER GUEST), a charming fly fishing shop owner, and his Bloodhound, Hubert.

Longtime New York gay couple Scott Donlan (JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS) and Stefan Vanderhoof (MICHAEL McKEAN) have high hopes for their Shih Tzu, Agnes, that Scott has trained, while the wealthy, but elderly Leslie Cabot (PATRICK CRANSHAW) and his young trophy wife Sherri Ann (JENNIFER COOLIDGE) believe that their Standard Poodle, Rhapsody In Blue, will keep the reigning championship crown due to the efforts of their trainer, Christy Cummings (JANE LYNCH).

With everyone arriving in Philly where a hotel manager (ED BEGLEY, JR.) does everything in his power to accommodate them, Dr. Theodore W. Millbank III (BOB BALABAN) the earnest president of the Mayflower Kennel Club and the show's chairman, Graham Chissolm (DON LAKE), open the competition. As TV commentators Buck Laughlin (FRED WILLARD) and Trevor Beckwith (JIM PIDDOCK) call the event, the various contestants and their dogs do their best to win their individual categories and then compete for the big prize.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or love dogs and/or dog shows, it's probably not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and sex-related material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PARKER POSEY and MICHAEL HITCHCOCK play an extremely uptight, husband and wife who often bicker with one another due to the stress of the competition. They also briefly talk to a psychiatrist about their dog catching them while having sex.
  • EUGENE LEVY and CATHERINE O'HARA play another married couple involved in the competition. He's somewhat of an oafish nerd who becomes increasingly surprised and upset upon learning of his wife's prior promiscuous ways before their marriage.
  • CHRISTOPHER GUEST plays a down to earth, good ol' boy who hopes his bloodhound might win the competition.
  • JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS and MICHAEL McKEAN plays a longstanding gay couple that also has their dog entered, with the former being the more stereotypically flamboyant of the two.
  • JENNIFER COOLIDGE plays a trophy wife to a rich, but elderly man and ends up entering into some sort of lesbian relationship with her hired trainer played by JANE LYNCH.
  • ED BEGLEY, JR. plays the local hotel's flexible and accommodating manager.
  • FRED WILLARD and JIM PIDDOCK play the TV commentators, with the latter being reserved and respectful and the former being a loud, boorish and ignorant man.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Several sexually related comments are made (implying that a middle-aged, married woman slept around a lot in the past) and a sexual position is briefly described by a woman (stating that their dog caught them that way), while some gay jokes/references are made by a gay man and we briefly see two women kiss for the first time (they become lesbian lovers after that, although we don't see anything else physical between them).

    Some profanity occurs (2 uses of the "s" word, 2 non-explicit slang terms for sex and a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases), while a few character have varying degrees of bad attitudes (most of which occur under duress and include a childless, married couple verbally fighting).

    Beyond that and some brief social drinking, the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some people drink beer at a party.
  • People have champagne/wine at a reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Although we don't see anything since it's only verbally recounted, a character briefly tells a story about a man jumping off a building, having his head torn from his body after it got stuck in a gargoyle's mouth and then the intestines popping out like they were spring-loaded upon the body hitting the street.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Meg and Hamilton are mean to and short with each other when stressed out about their dog, and Meg is mean and/or disrespectful to various other people when things aren't going right for her.
  • Some viewers might not appreciate a brief joke about a mother committing suicide many years ago (having grown tired of her passive/supportive role in a marriage).
  • Scott and Stefan joke about how Christy looks and what she's wearing (saying she looks like a cocktail waitress on an oil rig).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*tbox," "I sh*t you not, you freak," "Loser(s)," "Bitch" (for dogs, said several times), "Freaks," "Taking a dump," "Shut up," "What the hell is this?" and "Nuts" (crazy).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 slang terms for sex ("poke" and "banged"), 2 "s" words, 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Oh God," 2 of "God" and 1 use of "G-damn" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Meg and Hamilton talk with a mental practitioner, believing that their dog's depression resulted from it seeing them having sex. The doctor asks them if they did anything different or unusual in any way and Meg replies that she got herself into a position from the Kama Sutra that "wasn't easy for me, emotionally." She then goes on to say that it's called "The Conqueress of the Cow" and describes it as being bent over, with her hands on the floor and having the man behind her. The doctor then asks what the dog did and Hamilton replies that it just sat there and starred at them.
  • Cookie shows some cleavage in various scenes.
  • Scott and Stefan are gay lovers and we first see them buying meat at a butcher shop for their dog. At this time, Scott jokingly states that he like a pepperoni stick just so that he can hold it. In an interview, Stefan says that Scott is so in step with the dogs he presents that it's like two members of the same body. Scott then jokingly chimes in that he knew a guy who had two members on the same body, that they dated for half an hour and that he got so exhausted. Scott also makes other various homosexual remarks & jokes about himself and being gay.
  • We then briefly see a still photo of Scott and another man dressed up in exotic outfits, with one of them bent over showing most of his bare butt in his outfit.
  • Sherri shows some cleavage (in various scenes and outfits) and jokes that she's the one who has to push away her much older husband (meaning he's interested in sex).
  • Meg and Hamilton talk about what he's going to say to their dog about the previous incident (the dog seeing them having sex) and he states that he told the dog, "When mommy and daddy make love, it's a beautiful thing." She then adds in, "Sometimes."
  • After Cookie realizes that Gerry is jealous of an old boyfriend they're going to see along their way to the contest, Cookie nonchalantly asks, "How many years ago did he poke me?"
  • One of Cookie's former lovers passionately kisses her and then later comments about how she used to put her legs back behind her head. Gerry then jealously states that he hasn't commented on that man's wife's breasts.
  • One of Cookie's former lovers (a different one than above) tells her, "I banged a lot of waitresses in my day, but you were the best."
  • An announcer talks about everything being fine with him going to an obedience school until they spilled hot wax on his "private parts."
  • A commentator tells his announcing partner that they should sell photos of women in wet and skimpy outfits bathing their dogs and call them "doggie style."
  • We see Cherri and Christy passionately kissing and lowering themselves to the floor after winning a contest (we then learn that they're lesbians and Christy later comments that Cherri is "dynamite in the sack").
  • Another of Cookie's former lovers recognizes her and she states how he's grown over all the years. He replies, "It's growing right now girl, just looking at you." He then adds that it was the one and only time he ever "did it" on a roller coaster.
  • Meg and Hamilton talk with their doctor again, stating that their sex life is finally back on track. They state that's because they replaced their old dog with a new one that doesn't mind them having sex and likes to watch them doing so. As they state this, we then see that new dog humping the doctor's leg.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Meg and Hamilton get into several verbal fights over their dog.
  • Gerry gets jealous of the attention paid to Cookie by her former lovers.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Certain people's obsession with their pets and treating them like they're human.
  • Dog shows.
  • People who enter their dogs (or children) into various contests/pageants, etc. so that they can vicariously experience victory through them.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Meg hits Hamilton with a stuffed dog toy while mad at him.



  • Reviewed September 11, 2000 / Posted October 13, 2000

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