In their 2010 film, The Trip, comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (or semifictionalized versions of themselves) embarked on a restaurant tour around northern England which quickly morphed into an opportunity to brilliantly showcase their dueling Michael Caine and Woody Allen impressions during their gastronomic exploits. Now that they have effectively conquered England, Brydon and Coogan (armed with his 4 Oscar nominations for Philomena) head to the idyllic Italian landscape for The Trip to Italy.
Director Michael Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy in the 19th century and renewing their witty banter and impersonation-offs. If nothing else, Coogan and Brydon enjoy mouthwatering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as Batman’s vocal register, questioning just how many Batman’s Alfred has buried and, of course, the virtue of sequels.
If nothing else, the opportunity to revisit who does the best Michael Caine is worth the price of admission. The Trip to Italy premiered at Sundance last week with Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon & Michael Winterbottom sitting down with New York Times culture reporter Melena Ryzik at the Cinema Cafe for a bit of Q&A and to discuss how they improvised comic scenes and how they essentially prepared for the sequel but just getting older.