And They're Off
In this “documentary,” Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin), a horse trainer, loses his girlfriend, Dee (Cheri Oteri), as well as the three horses that he had been training, without success, for horse racing competitions. Dee happens to also be Dusty’s jockey, so now she must find a new trainer to work for. When four horse owners ask Dusty to train their zero-rated horse, Caveat, Dusty takes that opportunity in hopes of finally winning a horse race. Martin Mull plays Dusty’s quirky dad, and Little JJ shows up as Dusty’s assistant.
Will Dusty train Caveat to glory at the horse racing competition? Will he get back together with his girlfriend? The answers to those questions don’t really matter because, what screenwriter Alan Grossbard aims for is to poke comedic fun at world of horse racing. No other “documentary” has tackled such a subject matter in such a way. Each actor and actress seems to be having a great time in their comedic role, even those in the smaller roles, like Kevin Nealon as a taxidermist. Their comedic energy and enthusiasm radiates from the screen more often than not, so even when the jokes themselves aren’t laugh-out-loud funny, you’ll at least find yourself grinning with amusement. None of the funny one-liners will be spoiled here, though, but it’s worth mentioning that the humor found here has a little bit of wit every now and then, and never veers into gross-out, juvenile territory---nor does it have any mean-spiritedness at its core.
At 90 minutes, the ideal running time of a comedy, And They’re Off… is an often amusing, harmless and sporadically funny “documentary.”