If you think you wouldn’t want to watch the same two guys banter endlessly about movies and whatnot after seeing them do it for two hours already, I’m here to tell you that simply isn’t so. There is, in fact, no end to the joy I got out of seeing Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon do essentially the same thing they did four years ago, only this time in a Mediterranean setting. They could do one every four years for all I care, going to other gorgeous countries and eating other amazing looking food items and talking all sorts of weirdness. Director Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy is a delight.
A sequel to 2010’s The Trip, and like the first film being an edited version of a six-episode series, we are once again taken into the bickery, bantery world of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, both playing fictionalized and rather lecherous versions of themselves, just as they always seem to in Winterbottom movies. Coogan is a name you probably recognize already, but Brydon is much less known here in the U.S. He’s a comedian, impressionist, actor, and panel show guest. There; that’s what you basically need to know. And he’s Welsh. That gets talked about a lot. The plot of the film involves Brydon being asked to repeat their original Trip of going to six different restaurants in six different areas and writing a description of it for a book — but this time it’s in Italy! Obviously, Coogan goes in for this.
What makes this movie and its predecessor so much fun is that you get the sense that the two men really are great friends and they do like to take the piss out of each other. Coogan’s “character” is that of a pompous Hollywood d-bag and Brydon’s is an annoying wannabe, but beyond that it’s just them chatting, doing impressions, talking about women, and all the stuff a road trip with your friend would be. And, add to it that they’re two of the funniest people alive and it’s a recipe for a great time, not to mention all the beautiful Italian vistas and food you get to see along the way.
This is one of those movies that explaining too much would lessen it. There are some characters and storylines that are fictional, despite the fellows playing themselves, that maybe don’t need to be there, but they add a bit of a narrative to what would otherwise just be a travelogue, and it maybe goes on a little bit longer than it should, but those are very minor complaints indeed. This is a funny, funny movie and if you like a good Michael Caine impersonation or a discussion about Alanis Morissette’s discography by two men in their late-40s, then this is the movie you should see right this second.