13 May 2013 | vchimpanzee
Very funny, but not in the usual way
Two horse trainers are being followed around by documentary crews. We don't see the successful horse trainer in this movie. Instead, we see what is filmed by the crew following Dusty Sanders, a real loser.
At the start of the movie Dusty has three horses left, but we see Dusty dropped by the owners of all three horses. Furthermore, his ex Dee, a jockey, interrupts one time to come in his place and get all her stuff.
Eventually a group of investors buys Caveat (did they not think about what this Latin word means?) and they ask Dusty to train the horse, thinking it has potential. Included in this group is Dusty's hot airhead former English teacher, who saw him at the 20th-year reunion, and her husband who is a success at selling a device advertised on TV. Also in the group is Tina, who is attractive but gets upset easily and does not want to lose money.
And Caveat is more trouble than he is worth. But with the help of the very skilled but high-strung Dee, maybe Dusty has a chance.
This movie has lots of very funny performers. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that lots of these people, when just speaking to the camera, were ad-libbing, in the style of "Best in Show". The standout is Martin Mull as Dusty's father, who made his living transporting horses, including the Kentucky Derby winner from which his son got his nickname.
Cheri Oteri comes in second, doing a great job as Dee, who makes no secret of her distress at having to make a living in a Costco-type store because she can't make enough money as a jockey. And just wait until you see her abuse a customer, who is surprisingly calm in the situation. If that's not enough, Caveat's co-owner made his money from fruit, and his bubblehead wife likes bright colors. Poor Dee looks like a clown when she races.
Yes, Gigi Rice is great, and good-looking for her age, as that bubblehead of a teacher.
Of course I have to mention Sean Astin, because he's the star. He's not like the others, and he isn't obviously talented like they are, but he does a very good job. He just comes across as a pathetic loser who is determined to overcome that, and that's all he needs to be.
Little JJ, whoever that is, does a very good job as a pet store employee who Dusty convinces to do his dirty work, for as long as he can. His hot sister Bonnie appears toward as a competitor in eating contests, but she sure doesn't look like she eats much.
I didn't like Mo Collins as the loose cannon Tina, but others probably will.
Bob Baffert has a great cameo. The legendary trainer has supposedly met Dusty, but wait until you hear him comment. Very real, and funny. I missed seeing him at the Derby this year and this made up for it.
So many funny scenes with ordinary people. One involves a pony ride that Dusty runs to make some extra money. The parent did not give permission to be in the documentary, so we don't see exactly what was seen as if we were watching it; his face and his daughter's face would surely have been obscured. And in many other ways, I don't think we see just what the camera crews would see. There would have to be too many cameras.
And stay around for the end. There is one blooper, but many other "outtakes" that seem ad-libbed.
If "Seabiscuit" is a winner, this movie at least places.