Comedy Movies, by Ajay Singh, 21 July 2011

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Claire Keelan

Country: UK

Runtime:

Release Date:

Language: English

Edited together from a BBC comedy series, “The Trip” is a fantastically funny, mostly improvised road movie of sorts, staring real life friends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Cogan is playing a critic for the Observer, and Brydon is the friend who fills the gap left when his relationship falls to pieces.

Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon in The Trip

Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon in The Trip

Interestingly, both characters, despite having fictionalised jobs, are playing themselves and it becomes an interestingly self reflective piece for Coogan as he muses on why the world doesn’t recognise his genius. While putting in a genius performance.

Michael Winterbottom directed this as he had done the previous “Cock and Bull story” which also featured these two great comedy actors playing versions of themselves. As such, its great fun to speculate how much of their on screen relationship mirrors real life, as mentioned, much of the dialogue is improvised.

Coogan comes across as insecure about his success, constantly reminding Brydon that he is the alpha male of the pair, while Brydon seem more relaxed, a family man who is more dedicated to them than to anything else. There’s a real sense of using their characters to avoid saying difficult things to ach other, a sense that perhaps Coogan feels trapped as Alan Partridge, when he would prefer to be taken more seriously. His disintegrating long distance relationship with his girlfriend in LA is cleverly reflective of Coogan’s real life attempts to break into Hollywood as a leading man and the whole movie is gently self satirical for both participants with the closeness of character to reality giving the end a particular poignancy.

The camerawork, especially as they go on a trip through Lancashire in Coogan’s range rover, is breathtaking, really showcasing the English countryside. Winterbottom keeps it simple most of the time, giving his guys the space and freedom to do their thing. If the TV series could be criticised for anything it would be for perhaps allowing a slight feeling of self indulgence to creep in. This is wisely lessened in this theatrical edition, a slimmed down, much tighter version of the narrative that works better than the six part original for that. A second draft of already great material.

The Trip [DVD] (DVD)
Actors: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Format: PAL
Language:
Subtitles:
Studio: 2entertain
Running Time: 172 minutes

List Price:
Price: £5.27
46 offers available from £1.84
4.4 out of 5 stars (206)

The Trip Trailer

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