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The Trip to Italy movie review: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon star in this hilarious saga

The Trip to Italy is mainly about Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s culinary adventures across multiple cities along the Italian riviera.

3rating
  • Shreya Paul

Last Updated: 04.33 PM, Jan 21, 2022

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The Trip to Italy movie review: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon star in this hilarious saga

Story:

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon set off on yet another adventure, only this time, it’s in the lap of the Italian riviera. Travelling in six Italian coastline cities, from Liguria to Sicily and Capri, this actor duo sets out to review eateries for the Observer magazine. The Trip to Italy is an entertaining spinoff to the original 2010 film.

Review:

The Trip to Italy is a sequel to Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s 2010 film The Trip. While the first navigated these frenemies on a journey to Northern England, the spin-off charts their journeys to a more ‘tourist-y’ locale. In this 2014 feature film, Coogan and Brydon take a second vacation along the resplendent Italian coast. 

The premise seamlessly picks up from where the first film closed. Only this time around, Coogan’s review of his initial culinary delights on the Observer newspaper has become a raving hit. Himself surprised at this happy accident, Coogan’s ego is massaged considerably well.

The paper promptly proposes that he should visit Italy next, the land that offers the global favourites in terms of cuisine. Coogan paid vacation consists of six different coastal cities. While it begins in Liguria, the scheduled trip is to end with Capri. In a moment of déjà-vu, 

The duo’s road trip on their Mini Cooper begins with impersonations of Michael Caine and Tom Hardy.

The narrative, much like the first, follows the self-deprecating style of John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich. There is a sharp reference to such a moment in the beginning of the film when Brydon refers to the second instalment in the Corleone saga, Godfather 2. Coogan brusquely pushes the subject aside to plainly squirm, “It just feels odd to do something for the second time.”

The constant bickering is also generously strewn across the plot and never gets too much to handle. The two actors keep taking jibes at each other and come up with whip-sharp repartees that make for an entertaining watch. 

Director Michael Winterbottom’s obvious grasp on his concept and script shines through especially during the transition of one comic situation to the other. Yet, there is a believability to it, a sense of togetherness, that encourages you not only to invest in these mock versions of the actors, but also root for them in all their oddities.

In terms of offering viewers a glimpse of Italy, the film more than succeeds. From the exquisite Amalfi coast atop a cruise, to the frozen dead of Pompeii, the film celebrates the sun-glazed, colourful cities. 

That, both Coogan and Brydon review charming bistros alongside these picturesque coastlines is just an added bonus. But the humour never takes a backseat. On Sicily being added to the itinerary, Coogan retorts it’s so that Brydon can show off his Al Pacino mimicry skills.

The Trip to Italy is all about Coogan and Brydon’s reinvention, in a more European setting (one daresay) and both of them thrive. The major plus in this sequel is the fact that the makers emphasise the cultural and literary references that the script abundantly uses. Hence, the film becomes even richer in terms of being a brilliant travelogue.

The two maintain a healthy dose of humour and wisecracks throughout, never letting a dull moment enter the script. One of the funniest scenes involves Lucy (Rosie Fellner) being charmed by Brydon’s impersonation of Hugh Grant. Even in their harmless flirting, Winterbottom imbues a realistic angle that charts Brydon’s desires juxtaposed with his recent thoughts about stepping away from his marriage and fatherhood.

One of the best features about The Trip to Italy is the fact that neither Coogan nor Brydon want to dial down their obnoxiousness. They are overtly boastful and proud, bordering on the delusional almost.

Verdict: The Trip to Italy is an enjoyable watch and a worthy sequel to the original film. It may not be a Godfather 2, but it has all the elements of a good spinoff.

Watch The Trip to Italy here

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