The glorious English countryside, tantalizing haute cuisine, and Britain's brightest comics add up to the most satisfying road trip movie in years. Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, and director Michael Winterbottom reteam for another comic romp in the vein of their fact-fiction-blurring hit Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Coogan and Brydon star as themselves, old friends who wind up together on a tour of quaint restaurants and hotels in the Lake District after Coogan's American girlfriend bails on him.
Breeding sidesplitting banter over everything from Romantic poets to who does the best impression of Michael Caine, Coogan and Brydon find endless comedy fodder during their five-day trip. But Winterbottom, who has brought films as eclectic as 9 Songs and The Road to Guantanamo to Tribeca in the past, is interested in more than just jokes. Brydon is currently killing as both an entertainer and a family man while Coogan, seeking solace from career and personal frustrations in one-nighters with choice hotel staff, makes palpable his yen for fulfilling connections. This attention to the characters behind the comedians elevates The Trip to a fascinating commentary on fame and the desire to find yourself.