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The Trip 

A sort-of road-move buddy comedy that is a delectable and contemplative postmodern entertainment

Road-trip buddies: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
  • Road-trip buddies: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon

What do we talk about when we talk about stuff? In their funny and inventive movie about nothing, British actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play "themselves" on a road trip through northern England, where Coogan goes to write a series of restaurant reviews for The Observer. He needs a traveling companion, so his friend Rob agrees to go along. The result is part Seinfeld, part My Dinner With Andre, part travelogue and part buddy movie about two average-looking middle-aged men with un-average talent. Thus, their prattle is a mixture of playful one-upmanship and mini-performances, especially when they trade impersonations: There's a Michael Caine-off, bad dueling Woody Allens and great dueling Sean Connerys as James Bond asking for a martini. The actors improvised the dialogue for this six-part British TV series, directed by Michael Winterbottom, and edited here into a two-hour movie. Brydon is the livelier, more confident and funnier of the two, Coogan the more dark, low-keyed and insecure. (His dreams, including one with Ben Stiller, are his funniest bits.) So The Trip is also a study of acting styles, with calls from lovers and agents back home,  all spun into a delectable and contemplative postmodern entertainment. Starts Fri., July 29. Regent Square

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