Actors: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
There is desperation behind actors who are always performing, constantly to try and convince others of their talent, and even more transparent insecurities in those who spend a majority of their conversations boasting and exaggerating minor achievements. I have spent enough time on set listening to pathetically unsuccessful day players and background actors do this that I have no urge to find these personalities in my entertainment as well. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon may be adequate entertainers when they are playing someone else, but the singular joke of these two actors desperately trying to one-up each other through a TV series and two films has significantly worn out my patience.
Part travelogue and international road trip movie, The Trip to Italy brings back Coogan and Brydon for another trip filled with delicious looking meals that go nearly entirely unappreciated by the traveling actors. Instead, they are far more concerned with spending every meal gossiping about more successful actors while they compete for the best impressions. I can only imagine how irritating it would be to take a trip with one person doing incessant impersonations, much less two. Even just the 100-minute run time is a bit more than I could bear of the overbearing Brydon and his pathetically competitive travel partner.
As was the case with the first film, director Michael Winterbottom doesn’t insert much plot into the film. Aside from a contrived romantic relationship and fictitious career advancement for Brydon, the film is mostly improvised dialogue between the two C-list actors as they shovel food in their mouths. Again, if I wanted to watch actors talk about themselves and eating incessantly, I would hang out at the craft service table on any
set. To make matters even worse, we see as much of the food in preparation and
on their plate as we do being mashed beneath teeth, because these two actors
can’t stop talking about themselves long enough to chew with their mouths
If you enjoyed the first attempts at this style of humor, the second one is likely to be just as enjoyable. Not much has changed, except perhaps some updated impressions and a few scenarios in the plot that are more contrived than the first time around. While the locations and photography have become more beautiful, it is not enough to balance out the increase in irritation brought on by Brydon, and to a lesser degree, Coogan. The Blu-ray special features include deleted scenes and a trailer, as well as a high definition presentation of pasta being mashed between Brydon’s teeth between Michael Caine impressions.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Special Features: 2.5/10