directed by Michael Winterbottom

reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Warning: Don’t watch on an empty stomach

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, two British comic actors in real life, go on a trip together to cover Steve’s assignment as a food critic for the Observer. The restaurants they visit, housed at posh boutique hotels, were chosen by Steve’s girlfriend, Mischa, who was supposed to go with him. But Mischa has moved to the States and Rob is the only person available at such short notice. “I called others but they were busy,” Steve tells Rob shamelessly when he calls to ask.

In that auspicious premise the trip begins; a trip that will take them from the congested freeways close to London to the solitary and tortuous roads of northern England.

The landscape they travel through is lovely, the hotels where they stay, lavish, and the food impossibly delicious looking. It is also too sophisticated for the two Englishmen whose faces only lit up in total surrender when the last day, their job completed, they share a greasy English breakfast of eggs and sausages.

On the previous evenings, they seemed more interested in competing with each other on who does the best imitation of Michael Caine, Liam Neeson or Sean Connery that in the modern concoctions the maitre d’ brings to them.

Their friendship, they deny, holds the film together. Steve, still single, keeps getting girls to share his bed. Rob, who is married and have a baby, misses his wife and confronts Steve on his, to him, childish behavior.

The Trip was filmed as a six-episode faux documentary TV series, then cut to fit into a movie. I wish they’d show the series in the States for I would love spending more time with these unlikely friends who kept me laughing to the end.

If you are still wondering whether this movie is for you, here is the trailer. I dare you to watch it and not smile.