Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Trip

Michael Winterbottom's The Trip (2010) stars Steve Coogan (who is to the real Steve Coogan what Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm is to the real Larry David, which is to say, who knows how much of each persona is "real?"). It co-stars his running buddy Rob Brydon (as "Rob Brydon"). Both actors are, throughout the film, sharp-witted and nicely accented (Coogan hailing from greater Manchester, Brydon from Swansea, Wales).

In any case, "The Trip" of the title transpires because of an assignment Coogan has taken mostly to sweeten the pot for Mischa, his American girlfriend (played by Margo Stilley, a North Carolina native). The task at hand?  Travel to the scenic North Country and sample fine cuisine along the way. Unfortunately for both, Mischa has since decided to "take a break," and is back in the States, leaving Coogan to scramble for an alternative, who turns out to be Rob Brydon.

Brydon, for his part, aims to enjoy the trip, bantering, doing various impressions and breaking out "Small Man in a Box," while Coogan, even though he's got this cushy gig and a beautiful pad and a way with certain women besides Mischa, seems dejected to the point of existential crisis. Coogan takes some of his frustration out on Brydon, who keeps up an incessantly deflective mimicry.  

Note: the film version compresses the original BBC mini-series by a little over an hour. I should also mention the Romantic poets -- Coogan finds them alluring and in some ways shares their outlook. Steve Coogan, a 21st century Romantic with spotty cellphone reception.

Today's Rune: Journey.      

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