A little film that cuts surprisingly deep, The Trip follows two comedians playing themselves as they traverse north England on a gastronomic tour. Steve Coogan gets an assignment from Esquire magazine to try all these fancy restaurants in the moors, but his girlfriend flakes, which leaves him no choice but to bring his best friend/annoyance Rob Bryndon. The movie plays off the pairs great chemistry and comedic chops, but the frequent moments of levity stand in relief against themes of loneliness, art, and death.
Steve Coogan has some funny and self-deprecating jokes about his career, which he obviously thinks has stalled (the character of his American agent is particularly cutting). One of his dream sequence involves Ben Stiller talking about how all the auteurs want to work with him (“The Coens, the Wachowskis, all the brothers, even Tony and Ridley Scott want to do a movie together with you…and that’s never happened.”) Coogan’s disappointments, not to mention his envy of Bryndon’s domestic life, give the film a somber undercurrent that makes the laughs, and the experience of watching the film, much more memorable.