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The Trip

The Trip (2010)
The Trip poster Rating: 7.0/10 (16,909 votes)
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: N/A
Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Paul Popplewell, Margo Stilley
Runtime: 112 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released: 24 Apr 2011
Plot: Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon.

The 2011Trip movie is basically an edit of The Trip TV series that aired in the UK, with its best parts distilled for quicker viewing — even though The Trip is a film to be savored. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves touring around the north of England, as Coogan reviews local restaurants. It sounds pretentious, and some of it is, although it’s mostly uproariously funny. The two actors, improvising their lines, play off one another brilliantly as foils, with Coogan as the miserable star / lothario, and Brydon as the happy-go-lucky married man struggling with his career. The two constantly attempt to one-up each other with their impressions, jokes, and successes large and small, and it creates a biting undercurrent that ultimately ends with a soberingly dark finale. But before that, the moors of the English countryside lend exceptional beauty and drama to this engrossing and funny travelogue. The Trip also has a sequel, to Italy, which is much lighter and brighter in tone and scenery. While it has its moments, it doesn’t quite capture as aptly the uncomfortable (and occasionally wonderful) realities of fame, friendship, love, and aging portrayed in the first film. — Allison Keene