Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Trip to Italy (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“The Trip to Italy”
Is Repeat Journey

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Recently, in reviewing “Land Ho!” I identified a new trend in films: what I called “guys traveling about, talking.” I likened it to “My Dinner With Andre” on the go.

Such a film was “The Trip,” with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The studio’s production notes tell us this about the movie: “Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country’s finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon.”

They are a popular British improv team, although Coogan has broken out in the film world (“Philomena,” “Tropic Thunder”).

Nevertheless, several moviegoers I know pegged “The Trip” as “self-indulgent nonsense.” But you can’t please everybody.

Now we have “The Trip to Italy,” a sequel again starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. This one’s described: “Two men, six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy.”

Perhaps we should amend my description of this new trend in film to guys traveling about, eating and talking.”

“The Trip to Italy” -- currently playing at the Tropic Cinema -- is not quite a reincarnation of those old Bob Hope - Bing Crosby road pictures. Instead, it’s a continuation of the previous movie with Coogan and Brydon. In fact, they reprise their dueling Michael Caine and Al Pacino impersonations from “The Trip.”

Yes, the film is filled with banter.

Were you abused as an altar boy?” asks Coogan.

“Only verbally,” replies Bryson.

Maybe you should focus on the food. They eat well.


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