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(Review originally written at 15 March 2008)

If you like a more subtle comedy, this is a great movie for you to watch. It features a wide variety of a bunch of odd characters and a main story situated around a dog-show.

Well, to be honest, there isn't really much story in this movie actually. It's a fake documentary, or mockumentary, focusing on the world of dog-shows and their owners. The first halve of the movie mostly consists out of fake interviews with the characters about them and their dogs, while the second halve concentrates more on the travel to- and the actual dog-show. The movie is not always made credible as a fake documentary because of its way of filming, editing and overall story-telling, so the movie is more stuck somewhere between a mockumentary and just a subtle comedy. Not that this makes the movie any less fun to watch though. It's obvious director Christopher Guest tried to make his own "This Is Spinal Tap", a movie and early fake documentary he was involved with previously as an actor, song writer, composer and writer. He also does all of those things in this movie by the way and then some more as well.

It's obvious director and writer Christopher Guest let his actors do a whole lot of improvisation and gave them lots of room to play. At times he just lets the camera role and let the actors do their thing. They come up with with things at times as they just go along. Some of the actors handle this better than the others. I think this is because every actor is itself is very individualistic and want to do things their way, which is not always possible when the actors opposite you is having a monologue concerning the other actor opposite and all you can do is respond to it and just go along with the other actor. Some actors on the other do know how to handle this and go along perfectly with it, such as for instance Eugene Levy. Who must have really enjoyed his improvisations was Fred Willard, as the commentator of the big dog-show. Man, some of the stuff he says is absolute great and hilarious.

The characters and the sort of not everyday and sort of odd background story of a dog-show is what makes this movie work and fun to watch. It's a real subtle sort of comedy that doesn't try to be funny in a forced way but let the actors and characters be the center of the movie its comedy instead, without trying to make them look too funny and more real and humane like, despite all of their oddness's.

It's a fun in-between movie to watch, just like this was a fun in-between movie to make for the actors involved I'll bet.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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