If you’re a dog lover who hasn’t seen Christopher Guest’s absurdly hilarious 2000 mockumentary Best in Show, stop reading and go rent the movie right this minute. If you watch it at least once a year to laugh at how ridiculous owners of show dogs can act when pride and prizes are on the line, then you’ll love the filmmaker’s new ads for PetSmart created in his signature style.
Starring big-screen celebrities such as Anna Faris, Wayne Wilderson, Jennifer Coolidge, and Michael Hitchcock — the latter two from the original film — the commercials are part of a “Partners in Pethood” campaign, which makes fun of obsessive pet parents, but all in good fun.
In one ad, Faris fetes her five-year-old Terrier, Stanley, with a pooch party complete with cake, presents, and four-legged guests. The proud pet parent goes on and on about Stanley’s astrological sign, religious leanings, and exercise preferences. In a whispering confessional to the camera, she compares Stanley to his friends, saying, “They’re sort of regular dogs, though, you know?”
In another spot, a young couple stresses over being new parents to two adopted pups. They weigh the pros and cons of various pet toys and even ask a PetSmart store employee whether there’s artisanal peanut butter available, we assume to fill their puppy Kongs. Then Grandma, played by Coolidge, sneaks into the house for a visit and does what in-laws do best — be annoying.
In my favorite, Hitchcock’s character shows us how he’s pet-proofed his home by covering up all of the dangerous sharp corners and edges with bubble wrap.
Then there’s the one of the woman who can’t remember the names of all her dogs. And her husband, played by Wilderson, who finds her just the slightest bit insufferable.
And the foodie family whose dog, Gus, has a highly sophisticated palate.
The commercials debuted during the Oscars on Sunday, and they’re worth watching on repeat, especially if it’s your kind of humor. As dog people, we can all be a little bit nutty when it comes to protecting and loving our furry friends. Is that so wrong?
Let’s hear from you, readers. Do you recognize yourself in any of these characters? Please share in the comments. We promise not to judge!
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About the author: Whitney C. Harris is a New York-based freelance writer for websites including StrollerTraffic, Birchbox, and WhattoExpect.com. A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by).