Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Trip is a British Sideways

My dinner with Rob and Steve.
Except there's awesome food as well as wine, and the two best frenemies periodically spout off entire stanzas of Romantic poetry. From memory. In the Lake District. In the voice of Sir Ian McKellan. But The Trip is otherwise strongly reminiscent of the classic Alexander Payne comedy. You have two men with very different lives and very different, yet complementary neuroses, meeting up at a tricky transitional time. Though they snipe at each other almost constantly during their six-day road trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (playing one can assume, hyperbolized but recognizable versions of themselves) are clearly soul mates. The plot, such as it is, has Coogan on assignment on tour in the north of England to write about food as he tries to manage his uneven film career, and he asks Brydon to accompany him when his on-again off-again girlfriend flakes. It's really just a framework, though, for these two comedians to riff on and off each other in what I have to assume is a largely improvised script. Director Michael Winterbottom probably just pressed record and went off to have a pint. I sense this is very much a love it or hate it cinematic experience, so I'll include the following representative clip below (though there are LOTS more impressions--the dueling Michael Caines scene has already become infamous). And if you like it, it streams, so you really have no excuse not to watch it tonight after Project Runway!*

*Unless you do not subscribe to Netflix. Then, you are excused.

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