A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid all of the silly humor, it's clear that animals are loved and valued. Human relationships are also important.
Positive Role Models
Many of the characters are kind to their animals and to each other. The big competition is won through fair, not foul, means. But some characters say cruel things to each other, such as a dad who threatens to gouge out his kid's eyes and calls him a "freak." A character's ignorance is mocked/played for laughs.
Almost every speaking character is White. The only exception is a stereotypical Latina housekeeper. On the plus side, several queer characters, including gay men and lesbians, are presented matter-of-factly -- even if the revelation of an affair between one couple is a plot point played for laughs.
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Violence & Scariness
A parent's death by suicide in the past is referenced. A father tries to get his son down from a roof by threatening him with violence ("I'll punch you in the eyes until they're jelly!"). A character's job includes conversations with people considering suicide. Yelling/arguments.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
It's implied that one character was promiscuous in the past, as characters use innuendo and suggestive gestures to describe them, but never confirmed explicitly. A couple talks about having sex in front of their dog to a therapist in moderate detail. A dog humps a character's leg.
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A few swear words: "I s--t you not," several references to "bitch" (usually referring to a female dog.) Quite a few double entendres that play on words like "nuts" and "Shih Tzu." "Bang" used to refer to sex. A father calls his son a "freak."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
At a party, adult guests hold drinks but no one acts drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Best in Show is a hilarious but dry mockumentary about the dog-show world. There's some swearing, including a notable scene where a father threatens his son with violence and calls him a "freak." One character is implied through innuendo as having been promiscuous in her past, and many men come on to her in social situations using coarse language ("I banged a lotta waitresses in my time"), to the dismay of this character's husband. This one's best for adults and teens who enjoy dry absurdity, plus anyone who has a show dog or is interested in the dog show world. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of offbeat humor will get a big kick out of Guest's follow-up to Waiting for Guffman, but there may be more appreciative "Oh, that's funny!" comments than outright laughs. Best in Show features Guest's repertory company of top-notch improvisational actors, who mostly create their own characters and dialogue after Guest outlines the story. This gives his movies a wonderful sense of depth, as it really seems that we're getting brief glimpses of real people who are just as interesting when the camera isn't on them. But it also means that the humor tends to come from small moments and from character rather than from jokes. O'Hara is a delight as Cookie, and one of Best in Show's best running jokes is that almost everyone she meets rapturously recalls some past amorous encounter with her. And Coolidge is sensational as a cross between Lady Macbeth and Anna Nicole Smith.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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