The owners (and handlers) of five show dogs head for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A film crew interviews them as they prepare for the trip, arrive at Philly's Taft Hotel, and compete. From Florida come the Flecks: she keeps running into old lovers. A wordless ancient in a wheelchair and his buxom trophy wife who may have a thing for the dog's handler own the two-time defending best in show, a poodle. From the piney woods of N.C. comes a fella who wants to be a ventriloquist. High-strung DINKs feud loudly in front of their Weimaraner. Two outré gay men from Tribeca round out the profiled owners. The dog show brings out the essence of the humans. Who will be best in show? Written by
This is the funniest movie I have ever seen. However, I have laughed harder at plenty of movies. This is because Best In Show's brilliance lies not in slapstick or one-liners, but in sophisticated and layered verbal wit. The improvised dialogue is is so quick that you end up laughing not at each individual joke, but only until after several jokes build on one another, each disarming your senses until the jokes climax and you can't help letting loose.
It's a well-shot film, but what makes it extraordinary is the acting. I was impressed on my first viewing, but when I watched it after having learned that virtually every scene is improvised, I was amazed. It was thoroughly enjoyable to see the comedians work off each other, build jokes out of nothing, and completely immerse themselves in their characters.
I imagine the golden days of Second City were like this.
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