The creative and marketing team behind the horse-racing mockumentary "And They're Off..." may have shot themselves in the, er, hoof by keeping this diamond in the rough away from reviewers.
Turns out, the movie (filmed locally at Hollywood Park and Pomona's Fairplex Park) is a consistently amusing, sometimes hilarious spoof in the Christopher Guest mold; a warmly cockeyed look at a clumsy, yet hope-springs-eternal horse trainer, Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin), who's on a rocky ("Rocky?") road back to the winner's circle as a documentary camera crew follows his every hapless move.
Astin, terrific here, gets ace support from a crack ensemble of supporting jokesters including Cheri Oteri as Dusty's hair-trigger, jockey girlfriend; Martin Mull as his supportive, cross-dressing dad; and James ("Little JJ") Lewis as Dusty's goofily gung-ho assistant trainer.
Playing the clueless new owners of the zero-rated horse they hire Dusty to train, Mark Moses, Gigi Rice, Peter Jacobson and Mo Collins are a collective crack-up.