The Trip

The Trip (2010)
NZ International Film Festival

A vain actor who was very famous in the ’90s (and yearns to be famous in the States) and a modest actor who is happy where he is, travel around the north of England visiting expensive restaurants for The Observer. A simple concept, and you don’t need to be familiar with the careers of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon to find it funny (although it helps, especially with the endless “A-ha!”s and Coogan’s choice of Joy Division for travelling music). It’s not so much Sideways as Beckett for foodies, and I’m glad I didn’t watch it on an empty stomach.

I didn’t realise this was an edited version of a six-part BBC series until afterwards, which explains the languid structure, and why Brydon repeats the same three or so Boys’ Own impressions, which makes him seem a bit boring… there’s more variety in the outtakes! It’s been cut down from 180 minutes to 110 for an American audience, but doesn’t feel bowlderised. Although it may seem strange to release a film with so many in-jokes and obscure references, I think it caters nicely to America’s anglophile audience.

A welcome addition from the somewhat pat bromance is Clare Keelan (from Nathan Barley) as Coogan’s assistant, and a lively cameo from Ben Stiller, who may or may not have been in the same continent as Coogan when it was shot.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: