Opens at Sun Ray Cinema: September 1, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour 49 minutes
Directed By: Michael Winterbottom
After jaunts through northern England and Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age. As always, the locales are breathtaking, the cuisine to die for, and the humor delightfully devilish.
Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2017
The Trip to Spain is the third entry in “The Trip” series (The Trip and The Trip to Italy) directed by Michael Winterbottom. The Trip is a 2010 British television sitcom that starred Academy Award Nominee Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Rob Byrdon (Cinderella and The Huntsman: Winter’s War) as fictionalized versions of themselves. They embarked on a on a restaurant tour of northern England. The sitcom was edited into a feature film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The second series, The Trip to Italy followed in 2014.
The foodie film follows two frenemies on a trip to España, enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Spain. In case you did not see the first two, actor Steve Coogan accepts an assignment by a newspaper to go on a restaurant tour. He does this to impress his gourmet girlfriend, Mischa. He invites his colleague and friend, Rob Brydon. We learn in the first film that despite being the bigger star, Steve is sad and cynical. He seems to always be upset about something in his personal life or career. On the other hand, Rob is joyful and content. Throughout the series, Steve and Rob banter back and forth and attempt to outdo and embarrass each other with their impersonations of famous figures.
The Trip to Spain opens with Steve on the phone with Rob inviting him on another adventure. Rob hesitates, but when his baby starts crying, he says yes. Steve picks him up in his Range Rover and they embark on a ferry from England to Spain. Rob works on his impersonations in the cabin, while Steve has bouts of motion sickness. I loved the scenery depicted in the film. I thought the cinematography by James Clark captured the essence of Spain. Some of the dishes looked and sounded delicious. I wish the director had focused more on the food and scenery and less on the back and forth between Rob and Steve. I felt like the scenes at the end of the day between Steve and his UK agent, girlfriend and son were just fluff because they ultimately did not add much to the storyline. I thought Steve and Rob nailed the impersonations of Marlon Brando, Mick Jagger and Sean Connery.
I felt the end was a bit rushed and did not the flow of the rest of the film. It left me a little confused. Over, the film was fun and I enjoyed the improvisation and chemistry of the Steve and Rob. Fans of The Trip and The Trip to Italy will relish the The Trip to Spain. It opens Friday, September 1 at Sun-Ray Cinema. ~ Leigh Ann Rassler