Michael Winterbottom

IFC Films

Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan, Margo Stilley, Rebecca Johnson

THE TRIP: UK 2010, Digital, Color, English, NR, 107 min



THE TRIP brings director Michael Winterbottom and the hilarious Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon back together in a side-splitting road comedy. The film follows the pair on a hysterical odyssey that has won over audiences at the Toronto and Tribeca Film Festivals, and has critics rolling in the aisles.

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. As the brilliant comic duo, freestyling with flair, drive each other mad with constant competition and showdowns of competing impressions (including dueling Michael Caines, Sean Connerys and Al Pacinos), the ultimate odd couple realize in the end a rich amount about not only good food, but the nature of fame, relationships and their own lives.

As in many road movies, the trip becomes an occasion for philosophizing, a journey inward and out as the men joust and parry, improvising and entertaining each other, at times by imitating, hilariously, someone else. They also eat, of course, often and well, dining in restaurants where the rooms and service are hushed and the dishes extravagantly conceptualized and prepared. (With The Observer paying, money isn’t an issue.) There are gardens of vegetables, oceans of seafood, a veritable abattoir of meat. At the Cumbrian restaurant L’Enclume (one Michelin star), the near-parodic haute and low offerings include lollipops “made out of duck fat with peanuts” (“Why not?” Mr. Coogan muses) and some foamy pea-green ick made from mallow, ginger beer and whiskey and served in a martini glass. “The consistency,” Mr. Coogan says after braving a sip, “is a bit like snot.” Pause. “But it tastes great.” nytimes