The Trip – Movie Review
By Anne Brodie Jun 10, 2011, 15:58 GMT
When Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer to tour the country\'s finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But, when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. ...more
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play themselves in this droll comedy about a pair of real life showbiz friends taking a working vacation in northern England together. It’s a fictional piece that names names; its Coogan and Brydon, playing themselves, no script and it is not a documentary.
The film’s witty, subtle, funny and intimate, as we careen over the moors hunting down hotels and hot receptionists while coming face to face with themselves/each other. What it becomes is a revealing look at both men, with particular, unflattering emphasis on Coogan. I’d like to know if it’s a documentary, wink, wink.
Coogan, an English comic actor who starred in Marmaduke, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Hot Fuzz, Tropic Thunder and A Cock and Bull Story, plays an English comic actor who is touring the north reviewing restaurants for The Observer.
Instead of taking his American girlfriend who has ditched him, he takes his friend Brydon, a real life killer impressionist and TV star, whom he seems barely able to tolerate.
After all Brydon is happily married, satisfied with his life and confident in himself, the opposite of Coogan. Meanwhile, Brydon wrenches himself away from his adoring wife and baby to accompany his friend whom he believes is lonely and unhappy.
Coogan does nothing but sneer at Brydon despite of, or perhaps because of Brydon’s incredible, dead on wit and comedy musings. His “She was only fifteen years – old” as Michael Caine is priceless, especially when Coogan has to make it HIS own. Coogan is merciless in his total disdain; it makes us love Brydon all the more.
Superficially Coogan’s dominating the pair, sleeping with just about any woman who comes his way, winning in that particular event. Brydon doesn’t – he calls his wife at home for long sexy conversations, no thoughts of messing around on her. So in fact, he wins. Or does he?
The best scenes are usually between Coogan and Brydon as they sit across from each other in bars, or at restaurant tables eating the most precious, stuffy foods, and pretending it isn’t absurd. Their impressions of famous people, the endless sounding out and trying it this way and that, is hilarious and borders on artistic insanity and certainly male on male domination rituals.
Brydon doesn’t really try to outdo Coogan until Coogan tries to outdo him and then it gets seriously uncomfortable and achingly funny.
I don’t think much of the way women are portrayed here, they are either indecisive or sluttish, at least the ones around Coogan. Brydon has a much more dignified view of women; he seems hang-up free. Nice contrast. Again, real or scripted?
It’s a mystery and a very entertaining one as is this film. Kudos to Coogan for creating plenty of drama and fun at his own expense.
The film is a distillation of the British TV series, but I saw a rather long version of the film. It takes some patience to tolerate Coogan in this form for very long but its’ worth the annoyance. Coogan does a masterful job of playing this character, if he’s playing him. If he’s not playing him, then, boy is he brave.
Visit the movie database for more information.
35mm comedy road trip
No writing credits
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Opens: June 10
Runtime: 107 minutes
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CSteve Coogan Biography -
Steve Coogan Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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