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The Trip

United Kingdom 2010
Directed by
Michael Winterbottom
104 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Sharon Hurst
3.5 stars

Trip, The (2010)

Synopsis: Steve (Steve Coogan) is commissioned by a newspaper to review several restaurants around the north of England. When his girlfriend can’t go with him he asks his pal, Rob (Rob Brydon), to accompany him. Together they indulge in gourmet meals, while puttering around in their little car debating the big questions of life, sparring verbally and impersonating a plethora of characters.

The Trip was originally a six-part British TV series that has been edited into one feature-length film. It is built around the real-life personae of the two lead actors, Steve Coogan, a much-loved (in Britain at least) comedian and actor and Rob Brydon, a comic actor and impersonator regularly seen on British TV. (The two have already appeared together in Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story and 24 Hour Party People). Plot-wise, nothing much really happens and as an audience you simply go along for the ride. But the journey is made enjoyable by the carryings-on of the pair, who are fearless mimics generally likeable blokes and perfect foils for each other.

Steve and Rob are like a pair of scrapping kids, constantly trying to one-up the other as they impersonate Caine, Burton, Hopkins, Pacino, de Niro, Connery and more. At times they get serious and mull over the meaning of life and getting older, along with pondering the drug-inspired poetry of Coleridge. Steve is keen to show his prowess with women and indeed some of what takes place is probably part of a male mid-life crisis, including the later impromptu eulogies for each other in a country graveyard. But aside from the serious moments, much of the dialogue is merely off-the-cuff repartee.

The English countryside is beautifully presented as we see Steve and Rob’s car going along winding roads, through verdant landscapes and into quaint villages with quaint names like Holbeck Ghyll. Equally, the food is sumptuous and Winterbottom takes us into the kitchens, watching chefs lovingly serving up elegant dishes. With so many references to things filmic, TV-ish and much self-mockery, The Trip is a delightful if fluffy film with plenty of good-hearted laughs.




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