Best in Show (Warner Home Video DVD, $12.99, 2000, 89 minutes, rated PG-13) [Cont.]
It Gets Better with Age, However
In 2000, I had been a dog trainer for only a few years. I had yet to cover Westminster once, let alone seven times. I had not taken a conformation course. So I didn’t really know what was a farce of dog shows and what was just plain silly.
Now, with many more years’ experience under my collar, I can appreciate the truth, and there is very little, thus leaving me to enjoy the slick humor. And, thankfully, I had forgotten who ended up winning BIS so the suspense even had me going (and “in stitches” at times).
Characters All, Conversations Abound, Arguments Often (“Don’t Spit on Me!”)
Harlan Pepper with Hubert the Bloodhound from Pinenut, NC.
Harlan owns the Fishin’ Hole and collects beach balls (more than 500 to date). He grew up with blue tails and red bone coonhounds. Harlan can talk to anyone about anything and forever without pausing to take a breath but it’s hard to follow his logic (or lack of logic) in flitting from one topic to another even in the same sentence.
Scott and Stefan from Tribeca, NYC, are the Shih Tzu ‘queens.’
For their 48-hour trip, Stefan took eight kimonos. Stefan is a former Army brat while Scott owns his own hairdresser salon. After the show they dress up their pups and photograph them as well-known romantic couples in literature for a calendar they will be selling. I will probably not be a purchaser, however.
Silent Jack (or is it Leslie?)(approximately 95 years old) and his wife, 25-year-old Sherri Ann (a Zhasha Gabor type) from Romulus, NY.
This odd couple own white Standard Poodle, Rhapsody in White, who won BIS the past two years. Handler Christy is the opposite of Sherri Ann – short haired, thin, prone to wearing pants suits. Sherri Ann and Christy end up starting a magazine called American Bitch for lesbian cover couples who own female dogs.
The attorney couple, Hamilton and Meg Swan from Moordale, IL, with matching braces on their teeth.
These “Yuppy Puppies” met in Starbucks years ago and still remember that Meg was drinking a vanilla latte while Ham was sipping an espresso (or whatever). Typically stone-faced, they verbally spar during therapy sessions with their Weimeraner and verbally spar backstage at the Mayflower and verbally spar. . . well, you get the picture. Canine Beatrice remains calm throughout but, unfortunately, jumps up on the judge repeatedly during judging, resulting in her being excused (disqualified and asked to leave the show ring) and, later, replaced with a humping Pug.
And the Winners are. . . . (at least the winning characters)
Gerry and Cookie Fleck from Fern City, FL, may be the folks who are closest to normal even though Gerry has two left feet (a joke that gets too much play). Gerry is a salesman at Talman’s men’s clothing store and the two like to sing “God Loves a Terrier.” Of course, they have a Norwich Terrier, Winky, who also seems to be normal (as all of the dogs in the movie seem to be – not the people). The Flecks were offered their name on a Pooper Scooper but turned it down.
Tied for first place in the realistic category is also Buck, one of the commentators. His areas of “expertise” include ‘crates, kibble and cookies.’ He has a propensity for hoof-and-mouth disease on air.
On the whole, BIS could be entertaining if you are multi-tasking at the same time. It could also be an inexpensive babysitter. Go for it!
Caveat: DogEvals purchases products for review unless otherwise stated. This DVD was borrowed from the public library.