The Trip to Spain
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Running Time: 108 minutes
The Trip to Spain Is Another Treat In The Delightful Food, Travel & Improv Franchise and it's heading to the Nightlight Cinema!
As a sort of litmus test, noted film critic Gene Siskel would ask of a film, “Is it more interesting than a documentary of the actors having lunch?” Michael Winterbottom’s trilogy of The Trip films effectively turn the question inside out, rendering the act of watching a pair of actors having lunch as something riotous, a touch melancholic, and yes, infinitely interesting. Limey comic virtuosos Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have hit the road yet again, bringing their egos, insecurities, and fully loaded arsenals of celebrity impressions with them. And enough has changed since they ate their way through Italy, Philomena landed Coogan a pair of Oscar nominations, and he won’t let anyone forget it, that this dish remains just as sumptuous in the third tuck-in, The Trip to Spain
There’s a certain skill in recognizing when something that ain’t broke don’t need fixing. Winterbottom’s hit upon a winning formula with seemingly limitless potential for regular renewal; he keeps the cameras rolling while Coogan and Brydon volley witticisms like a schticky McEnroe and Borg, their barrage of bits interspersed with ravishing footage of the Spanish countryside and obscene tapas porn. Winterbottom’s film offers a neurotic and often bitterly sarcastic spin on the same material pleasures of a Nancy Meyers production, shamelessly luxuriating in its own luxury. The paella is exquisite, each Roger Moore-voice contest equally so.
There are enough parody-ready male British thespians and countries with lavish cuisine to fuel 20 more trips. Brydon and Coogan’s effortless chemistry, paired with the simple joys of good food and world-class sightseeing, make these films a supremely pleasant vacation unto themselves. Someone get these men on the next ferry to Japan.
~~ Charles Bramesco, theplaylist.net