"The Trip" Is a Talkative Faux-Reality Road Film | New in Film | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Film & TV

"The Trip" Is a Talkative Faux-Reality Road Film

Cobbled together from a six-part BBC2 miniseries telecast last fall, The Trip is a talkative faux-reality road film largely improvised by funnymen Steven Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing versions of themselves under the direction of Michael Winterbottom. When his American girlfriend cancels, Coogan — who has supposedly been hired by the Observer as a celebrity food critic — invites frenemy Brydon to accompany him on a weeklong eating tour of Yorkshire and Lake District restaurants. The verbal jousts are droll, and the countryside is splendid, although the food — an endless succession of fussy little presentations — may be an acquired taste. "Duck-fat lolly," Coogan says thoughtfully, sucking on some sort of caramelized dessert. Brydon calls his buddy "the king of understatement," but it's Coogan who has the more comic persona. Competitive, vain, and anxious, he complains of losing movie roles to Michael Sheen and dreams that Ben Stiller himself is summoning him to Hollywood. Verbal as it is, The Trip could almost work as a radio show. Set pieces include a Wimbledon-worthy volley of Woody Allen one-liners and, most touchingly, a lusty rendition of ABBA's classic break-up song "The Winner Takes It All." Visits to cottages that once sheltered Wordsworth and Coleridge inspire the lads to declaim poetry. Adding to the romantic aspect, Coogan often strides the moors in search of a cell-phone signal to call his girlfriend, while the domesticated Brydon engages in mild phone sex with his wife, using the voice of Hugh Grant. (Not rated)

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
J. Hoberman
Contact: J. Hoberman

Latest Stories