The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catherine O'Hara Filmography: Best in Show (2000)

This post is the first in my mission to watch all of Catherine O'Hara's movies.

If there's one place that has been proven time and time again to nourish Catherine O'Hara's talents both comedically and even dramatically, it has been the films of Christopher Guest. Ever since "Waiting for Guffman" fans have known of O'Hara's brilliance.

"Best in Show" is Christopher Guest's second mockumentary, which follows a group of odd characters as they and their dogs prepare for the Mayflower Dog Show, a prestigious event that every character wants to win. Catherine plays Cookie Fleck, the owner and trainer of a ridiculously cute terrier. More importantly though (plotwise anyway), Cookie also had a very colorful and prolific sex life in her younger years, much to the dismay of her husband Gerry (Eugene Levy).

Sadly, O'Hara's screentime is rather limited in the movie, and her character just isn't as memorable as some of the others in the film, such as Parker Posey's uber-bitch Meg Swan or Jennifer Coolidge's ditzy Sheri Ann Cabot. The two of them have some of the funniest moments in the film and Posey especially is just phenomenal. However, though this is surely not a quintessential O'Hara performance, it's still really wonderful, because I feel it gives us a bit of everything that makes her brilliant.

First of all, she and Eugene being a couple (that sings!) is a lovely foreshadowing of the wonderful work she was to do in "A Mighty Wind". Secondly, we see Catherine's skills as a physical and over the top comedian when she injures her knee and is hobbling around. Then, she also shows her ability as a subtle, talented actress when she encounters her past lovers, or when she's worried about the credit card, or when her dog is being held hostage on the roof of a shed.

So despite her limited screentime, Catherine O'Hara's role as Cookie Fleck is a loving reminder for all fans of why she is amazing. The movie is hysterical and also features wonderful performances by its entire cast, especially Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, and Jane Lynch (!!!) so if you haven't yet seen it, I highly recommend. :)

The Film: 9/10
Catherine: 9/10
Best in Show: Parker Posey for sure, with Jennifer Coolidge following closely behind

What were your thoughts on Best in Show? How do you like the project so far? Make your voices heard in the comments!

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