The Trip (IFC Films) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, November 25th, 2020  

The Trip

Studio: IFC Films

Jun 10, 2011 #36 - Music vs. Comedy Bookmark and Share

Director Michael Winterbottom's The Trip is a rather audacious conceitequal parts Sideways, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Extras. Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon ostensibly portray themselves, although grossly exaggerated cartoon versions, as Brydon joins Coogan at the last minute when his girlfriend backs out of a food-tasting trip across northern Britain.

The best moments of the film are reserved for when the pair riff endlessly and seemingly extemporaneously, particularly in a hilarious bit on the evolving accents of Michael Caine. But there's also pathos imbued throughout, as Coogan pines for his estranged journalist girlfriend Mischa (Margo Stilley), and contemplates his deteriorating career with keen self-awareness.

Coogan and Brydon annoy the hell out of each other, and occasionally their banter wears tedious, but ultimately this is a well-executed, eminently enjoyable film. Its idiosyncratic style, black humor, and unorthodox structure fortunately rescue it from becoming a ploddingly banal buddy film. And while the script at the surface seems like it could've benefited from some tightening up, its sloppy, improvised feel provides the film much of its ample, off-kilter charm. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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