If there was one thing that I would want to do with my life other than film, it would have to be traveling. 

When people like myself can’t afford to make the trip, we turn to road-trip movies to give us a view of what we’re missing.

Comedies usually show them in a highly-comedic and exaggerated fashion. But then, underneath all of the classics, there lies a forgotten gem; in this case, “The Trip,” — a six-part miniseries converted to a feature-length film.

Four years ago, friends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon went on a trip all across England to dine at local restaurants and write articles for a magazine. Fast forward four years and things have now changed.

Steve’s career is booming while Rob is having some trouble at home with his wife. But nonetheless, the duo return for a second serving with “The Trip to Italy.”

Allie Norman / Equinox Staff

Allie Norman / Equinox Staff

This time around, they are commissioned to travel Italy and write another article.

Just like last time, this trip will consist of wit, impressions and the comradery between two best friends.

Just like many different types of food, whether you like this movie or not, it all depends on an acquired taste.

I have become accustomed to British humor, so it’s easy for me to enjoy a comedy from across the way. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon  may be big names in the U.K., but in America, they’re barely recognizable for the mainstream audience.

“The Trip” was a film that I happened to catch by accident. The preview caught my attention, but what I got was something different.

It wasn’t as slap-sticky as I thought it was going to be. Instead, it turned out to be a witty and mature movie about middle-age crisis.

Since most of the dialogue is improvisation, this could have fell flat. But since these two have chemistry, their back-and-forth feels natural and genuine.

Steve Coogan this time around, has grown since the last journey. This time around, the roles are reversed.

Coogan is more outgoing and thinks highly of his new-found fame in the U.S.

Although, he’s not stuck-up about it all. Instead, he looks at it as a luxury. In this aspect, he becomes much more admirable. Even while on this trip, he tries to find ways to connect with his son waiting for him back home.

Rob Brydon on the other hand, starts to act like Coogan from the first time around. He never becomes a nuisance, but he acknowledges that Steve has it better.

Back home, his wife seems to have shut him out whenever he tries to call her. He has a moment of weakness and does something that he never dreamt of doing.

Nevertheless, these are two human characters. They are both likable people, but they’re also human.

They make mistakes, faintly acknowledging the consequences. But when you really get down to it, most people saw this film for the conversations over dinner.

While our mouths water at the food, Steve and Rob do what they can to keep us entertained.

Their forte is impressions, from Sean Connery to Michael Caine. While they are quite good, they’re also the problem that I had with the first film as well.

Sometimes, it feels like they are relying on them to carry a scene. When they start to repeat them over and over again, it gets real old real fast. Other than that, most of the conversations between the two friends feel very natural.

Even in the “scripted” scenes, I never got the impression that they’re reading from a script in front of them.

It’s just two British comedians eating high-end food and giving an outlook on the world.

Every site they visit is even more beautiful than the last. Director Michael Winterbottom films Italy with class and grace.

Whenever they’re on a boat, the water looks crystal clear  and when they’re sitting on a restaurant patio, the background is appealing to look at.

Due to this film’s slow pacing, I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody. However, if you enjoy British humor and beautiful imagery, “The Trip to Italy” is for you.


Rating: B+


Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at mbilodeau@keene-equinox.com

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