This movie has been out for a while and I watched it today in its last remaining weeks – it will only play one session per day next week. The whole movie revolves around Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing fictionalised characters named after them. Steve is a restaurant critic who has been commissioned by The Observer to review a number of restaurants in the north of England. Since his American girlfriend, Mischa, can’t come along with him, he asks his colleague and reluctant-friend Rob to come along with him.
Whilst Rob is a happily married guy who feels the pressure of being an over-40’s dad to a toddler, Steve is living an extended youth. At the age of 44, he doesn’t know how to be a good father to his boy, he’s having a break from his younger girlfriend while also bedding different ladies he comes across in the line of duty. He’s also dreaming of breaking into the mainstream movie industry in the US.
The Trip shows how they cope with each other on the trip – with Steve’s bitter and egocentric view of the world and Rob’s incessant mimicking various well-known actors, from Michael Caine to Hugh Grant. It is almost like a different, darker and more grown-up version of Sideways that takes place in the north of England.
The movie is very funny with its one-liners and feels very ‘down-to-earth’ – I feel like being a mute passenger in the car while they argue about nothing. I learn a lot from the movie as well – especially about ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All. 🙂 It also contrasts the paths that we can take as we progress with life: “successful” but lonely, or take a more humble way but fulfilled. I didn’t know that this movie (directed by Michael Winterbottom) was actually a six-part series that was aired in BBC Two in the UK in 2010. The series was re-edited and then released as a feature movie in the US and Australia.
Watching all the beautiful sceneries makes me want to go and visit the northern part of England and sample the restaurants there, especially L’enclume in Cartmel that is also featured in the movie. I would love to visit the quaint villages, the Yorkshire moors and revisit the misty, atmospheric valleys and mountains as featured in The Trip.
I enjoyed The Trip although I must admit that I had high hopes before I watched it, having read the critical acclaims that the movie received. The Trip does leave an impact with me, confirming me about the path that I have chosen for my life, but at the same time also leaving me wanting a bit more. It’s like having some great reviews about the restaurant, and once you dine there, you had great appetiser and main course but before you get to finish the last bite of the dessert, the plate’s taken away from you.