The Trip to Spain
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back on another epic road adventure fuelled by their witty banter and impersonations in The Trip to Spain.
If I could choose only one other writer to explore an exotic terrain with it would be Brydon for his comic genius, warm wit and wry smile. I’d even forgive him for not taking one note or photo during his restaurant reviews if only for his Marlon Brando and gay Nazi impersonations. I’d give him a rave review for his relentless Roger Moore impersonation while trying to undermine Coogan’s pompous attempts at impressing the ladies. If only all of us travel writers were bathed in eternal golden light.
Of course, I’m referring to the Rob Brydon in The Trip’s trilogy, where he co-stars as a fictionalised version of himself alongside Steve Coogan. Full disclosure, I haven’t seen The Trip or The Trip to Italy, so I won’t be tempted to make any comparisons with The Trip to Spain.
Coogan and Brydon are in great form as sparring friends and writers sharing the woes of middle-age. On one such rambling discussion, they agree, “You can’t have it all!” But between them, they give it a good college try with Coogan’s no strings attached approach to life, albeit stabs of loneliness, while Brydon on the other hand refreshingly appreciates the comforts of family life.
The pair travel from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean Coast, visiting Cantabria, the Basque region, Aragon, Rioja (even if there is a lack of vineyards), Castile-La Mancha and Andalusia. The plot is straight forward as they feast on castles and gourmet extravaganzas almost as much as they talk about themselves.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of the movie is Coogan’s battle with an uphill bike ride as a young family effortlessly guide by, just as Brydon’s career and personal life soar while Coogan’s appears to stagnate.
Further insight into Coogan’s character is presented as he storms off after an encounter with a musician recommending the very same food the pair are deliberately avoiding. Perhaps this explains the lack of paella in the movie even if the “life affirming” goat’s butter at the Michelin-star Etxebarri is an obvious part of the itinerary.
Watch it if only for the scenery, architecture, food, and of course the humour. It’s utterly enjoyable, and the perplexing ending seamlessly leads into a further sequel to… Well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
Check for session times at Luna Leederville, Windsor Cinema and Luna on SX August 2017