Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest
Buck: Well, the judge is Eddie Franklin…
Trevor: That’s EDIE Franklin.
Trevor: Yes, a retired school teacher from New Jersey.
Buck: You’re right, that’s a lady…
Various dog owners are followed around as they prepare for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show.
I feel like I’m about the last person in the world to finally see this movie after hearing so much about it, and honestly, for most of its running time, it was a bit of a let down. I laughed some in the first half, but I also sat patiently for much of it as well. The improvised dialogue can be funny, but it can also be tedious when it goes down an unfunny path.
Fortunately, Fred Willard showed up for the final third of the movie and just about saved the day. He delivers one great line after another as the color commentator at the dog show. I think he makes this movie seem funnier than it is overall. The nutty character traits of the various owners are developed early on and then just shown over and over until they’re run into the ground. A few of the running gags work, like Cookie’s (O’Hara) various ex-boyfriends that she’s constantly running into, while others don’t. Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock grated on my nerves early and often with their constant bickering. Though, Posey does have a good scene in a pet store later when she’s trying to find a specific squeeze toy for her dog.
I know this is referred to as a “mockumentary”, but it seemed to jump back and forth between a documentary and a regular movie about as often as District 9 does. Some scenes, the actors are completely aware of the cameras. Other scenes, they’re not meant to be aware of them. That’s a small point…I just thought it was weird.
For the most part, it’s a pleasant movie with a mildly funny first 2/3 and a very funny final 1/3. I didn’t think it was the all time great that I’ve heard it is, but it’s certainly worth a watch.
I think I learned that Blood Hounds might be telepathic…
10 – 2.2 for a first two thirds that was very hit and miss to me personally – .9 for a few annoying characters + .2 for Fred Willard = 7.1