Best in Show (2000)
Saturday June 1 & Sunday June 2; Noon | Tickets
This week, Caryn and I sat down to figure out which of the five dogs from Christopher Guest’s Best in Show really is the best of the bunch. There are no official parameters or rules, these are pure gut decisions, because that is what matters when it comes to dem doggies.
First, our qualifications:
Kris owns a cat. She’s not much of one, really, and she mostly just lays around and acts fluffy. Still, he grew up with dogs, including his parents’ current monster Beagle, Meg, who is ridiculously cute but also the spawn of the devil. Meg can sneeze on command. (Meg is also kind of fat).
Caryn has two Miniature Pinschers named Lebowski and Quint. She will gladly show you pictures of both while making high pitched noises that cannot be replicated. Quint kind of has bad breath.
Owners: Meg and Hamilton Swan
Kris: Beatrice would probably be a pretty good dog if her owners weren’t such raging psychopaths. Owned by a pair of aging, neurotic yuppies, Beatrice is the constant scapegoat for all of the couple’s problems, especially after the dog saw the two trying out a particularly degrading entry from some forgotten page of the Kama Sutra called “the congress of the cow.”
As a result, Beatrice is kind of a shithead. She poops in her owners’ shoes, snaps at strangers and, overall, just seems like a nice animal that’s been ruined by her horrible owners.
Caryn: You’d be that depressed too if you saw those two people having sex.
Breed: Norwich Terrier
Owners: Gerry and Cookie Fleck
Kris: At first I wasn’t a huge fan of little Winky, despite his win at the Mayflower. Little guy just doesn’t have that much personality through the film — but it’s hard to compete with owners like Gary? Barry? Oh, Gerry Fleck, his wife Cookie, and the hundreds (hundreds!) of people that she has slept with across the country.
But then, about halfway through the movie, Winky looks over at the camera, does one of those dog smiles and I think I died a little. This face. LOOK AT IT, MY GOD. Damn dog is crazy cute. His little sweater and hat outfit that he rocks makes him look like a dapper little dude too. Good dog.
Caryn: Winky is the best. He’s the underdog who won despite his owner’s two left feet, sleeping in a closet, and listening to his owners record awful dog songs. The ‘W’ stands for winner.
Owner: Harlan Pepper
Kris: Oh, Hubert. Giant, droopy ol’ Hubert. I love Hubert so much in Best in Show that I rarely hear anything Christopher Guest says because I am too busy shouting about ALL DEM SKIN FOLDS, BOOOOWFFF. WHO’S A GOOD BOY…. WHOSAGOODBOY
*ahem* Sorry. Hubert is a calm dog who travels well, can be kept off leash in the woods and gives good kisses. Someone buy me that giant dog.
Rating: 10. Give that dog a ribbon.
Caryn: Hubert goes from the great outdoors to the show ring seamlessly. That kind of flexibility is to be admired.
Dog: Miss Agnes
Breed: Shih Tzu
Owners: Scott Donlan and Stefan Vanderhoof
Kris: Miss Agnes kind of gets the shaft in Best in Show, to the point where I don’t even think they ever say her name in the movie. Agnes is a Shih Tzu, and not the kind that look like little mini-wookies — which I am cool with — but rather the one with the crazy New Jersey hair that kind of flits about and looks pretty. Less a dog than a fancy adornment for her awesomely flamboyant owners, Scott and Stefan, who spend most of their time in kimonos being catty and just generally amusing the hell out of each other.
Caryn: That scene where Agnes and her sister/brother pose as characters in film classics for a Shih Tzu calendar? Seriously makes this whole movie.
Dog: Rhapsody in White (aka ‘Butch’)
Breed: Standard Poodle
Kris: Here’s the thing. I like Standard Poodles. They’re really smart, they’re good companions and they do goofy shit like run into walls or trip over their own long legs.
That being said, I haaaate show poodles, with their quaffed up hair and weird… butt pillow things. Rhapsody in White requires all kinds of grooming, and is kind of a showy little shit prancing around that party with a little crown on her head acting like she’s Queen Bitch.
Okay, I guess that’s not the dog’s fault, but still, go home Rhapsody in White.
Caryn: I don’t like poodles. Or soup.
Which means our winner is… Winky The Norwich Terrier with 18 points! Kind of anti-climactic considering he also wins in the movie, but you can’t argue with quality. Besides, look at that FACE. God really does love a terrier.