director Michael Winterbottom
Steve Coogan plays Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon plays Rob Brydon, or versions of themselves, in The Trip, a film from director Michael Winterbottom, compiled from a television series that ran on British television of the same material. The plot is a simple one: Coogan nabs friend/colleague Brydon to join him on a winter trip around the north of England, sampling fancy restaurants for an article he is to write. He invites Brydon when his girlfriend takes off to America.
Coogan is a broody, egoistic, self-absorbed version of Coogan. Brydon is a very funny, kind, and affable version of himself. They eat a lot of swank-looking food, do a ton of impressions, namely Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery and dozens of others, all quite hilariously. But that is about all that really goes on. They also sing ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All.”
Apparently, The Trip meant to pick up the characters created in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005) of which I remember very little.
The English countryside looks very beautiful. The country, the food, British pop culture, Coleridge, over-produced fine food, much is subject here. It’s amusing. It got a lot of raves and wound up on a lot of people’s “best of” lists. That is a bit of a reach for me, but it certainly has its charms.