Calling all Anglophiles! And anybody enamored of the ability to do a great impression! I LOVE impressions – this is why I’d gladly pounce on Hank Azaria any day of the week. A good one is both hilarious and captivating; those two feelings always end up equalling lust in my warped-ass mind. But I digress.
I caught The Trip randomly on Netflix this past weekend (it’s available to stream), recommended to me because that site knows how I like it. The film is kind of like a British Sideways. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (two actor/writers who are unbelievably dry and wonderful and charming) play fictional versions of themselves (I’m assuming). Steve is commissioned to go on a restaurant tour for a week in northern England – one of those lovely happenings that us average Joe’s can’t even fathom. Since his current relationship with his American model girlfriend is sort of on the rocks, he invites his friend Rob, and the two take off on a week-long adventure.
I said that I “assume” they are playing different versions of themselves, because they are playing Steve and Rob, and throughout the film, their acting careers and lifestyles, roles they’ve played, are discussed. But this is a film, and I’m aware that they’re acting, however, they make it look so damn effortless. Coogan and Brydon have a great reluctant chemistry. They spend the week bickering, quoting films, and trying to one-up each other with their KILLER Michael Caine and 007 impressions. I felt like I was hanging out with them, even though I would much prefer to actually BE in the backseat of their Landrover.
Reminiscent of Sideways, there are also sad moments. Coogan is frustrated with the parts he gets offered, and cannot help but cheat on his hot young girlfriend who’s back in the states. Brydon’s character is happily married with a baby, so the film points out the contrast between the two, without making it a huge deal. It’s just the way it is, they each have their own lives. Brydon asks Coogan at one point, “Isn’t it exhausting, at your age, partying all night?”, and Coogan responds with, “Aren’t you exhausted, at your age, running after a baby? Everything is exhausting at our age.” Ah, poignancy.
I haven’t even mentioned the food they get to eat, which is shown and explained to us as it is to them, by the chefs at each locale they visit. It’s all completely bizarre and original, and most of it sounded fantastic.
Two sad comedians, the LUSH and stunning English countryside, impressions that inflict belly laughs, and food porn. This is quite a lovely Trip, indeed.