This is a mockumentary, which is a type of film I love. It provides an excellent opportunity for satire, and generally just plain fun. This film is about the Mayflower Dog Show, and all the craziness that goes into it.
It’s an interesting comparison of all the different types of people who bring their dogs to a dog show. There are “stage owners,” owners who clearly put all on the line for the placement of their dogs. They have a wide survey of such owners. There’s the neurotic yuppie couple (including Parker Posey), the blue collar “this is all they have” couple (the brilliant Catherine O’Hara and the ever-present Eugene Levy), a hilarious gay couple (John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean), a southern bloodhound owner who wants to be a ventriloquist (Christopher Guest, who also directed and co-wrote the film with Eugene Levy), a gold digger (Jennifer Coolidge) and her dog’s trainer (Jane Lynch)—who turn out to be in love with each other—all bring their dogs to this show with all their hopes pinned on their dogs’ victory. They all have their moments, all funny throughout, but the best part, I think, is Fred Willard as the commentator, with lots and lots of ad-libbed awkwardness.
It’s a very simple plot, but it’s got some good, funny moments to it—the opening scene, with the canine psychiatrist, is stark and completely unexpected. I think it’s a lot of fun, but overall I wasn’t blown away by it as a whole. I was, however, blown away by the sheer number of celebrity cameos throughout. It’s solid, but not exceedingly amazing. I wouldn’t include it as a Modern Classic Film that I must see before I go.