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December 18, 2011

Movie Review: Worst in Show (2011, Breaking Glass Pictures)

The Westminster Kennel Club is well known for having annual televised dog shows that celebrate the very best of every dog breed. To me, it's all a little weird. As a goof, some people in California decided to put together a show for the world's ugliest dogs. What started as something for fun became a sensation thanks to a dog named Sam and the power of the web. Now the competition is serious business for some.

Buy Worst in Show on DVD

This is an interesting documentary that follows a few of the competitors. The competition we see takes place one year after a dog named Pabst takes the title. Pabst's owner, Miles, joined the competition for fun. He really had no expectation of winning, but after defeating Rascal, Miles came back to defend Pabst's title. Miles is really in it for fun, and has no plans of making this a regular thing.

Rascal is owned by Dane. Dane is a sickening human being who runs around spewing Rascal's resume of celebrities who have pet him as though anyone cares. Dane is worse than a pageant mom. He carries Rascal around attached to a hideous hot dog leash that he constantly explains is patent pending. If he sells three of them, I'll be shocked.

The movie builds a great rivalry between Miles and Dane that resembles the hero/villain story in King of Kong. We also meet other owners and dogs, as well as the show coordinator, who has a funny matter-of-fact type of personality. Toward the end of the film, we meet a dog and owner who come together during a mix of circumstances that prove to be perfect timing for both owner and dog. It's a very emotional way to close out the movie, and it works very well.

I recommend Worst in Show. The opening animation is fairly cheesy, but don't let that deter you from sitting through the film. It does a great job of telling a compelling story, and it has a great way of steering you emotionally. Kids might even like it for the crazy looking dogs.

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