Rated PG-13. Running time: 1 hour 48min.
Our content ratings (0-10): Violence 1; Language 1; Sex/Nudity 3.
Our star rating (0-5): 3
Although I can’t condone the sexual morals of British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, I do recommend your joining them on their trip in director Michael Winterbottom’s film that is a combination of the road trip, buddy, and food movie genres. (In the cast list their first names are used for the fictionalized characters.)
Having written a successful restaurant review article for The Observer (which was the subject of their film that I have not seen The Trip), they are offered a new commission by the newspaper to visit and write about six Italian restaurants in six different places—Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Pompeii, Amalfi, and ending in Capri. Besides the gorgeous scenery and shots of mouth-watering food being prepared and consumed, the two witty friends regale us with great impersonations of such actors as Michael Caine, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Roger Moore, as well as poking fun at Christian Bale and Tom Hardy. The pair also follows the steps of the 19th century poets Byron and Shelley, so there are plenty of literary, as well as movie, references.
Along the way one of them engages in an adulterous affair with a fetching tour guide; they
visit the “Bay of Poets” in Liguria where Shelley on July 8, 1822 died when his boat went down in a storm. At Pompeii there is both humor and a note of solemnity as the two look at the plaster casts of victims that had been buried by the ashes of Vesuvius. There is also a reunion with a son and good news of one of them being cast in a new Michael Mann film. No car chases or other exciting events, just a trip with two men who would make delightful dinner or traveling companions, if you are willing just to sit back and enjoy their witty repartee.