Director: Michael Winterbottom
Produced by: Josh Hyams, Stefano Negri, Melissa Parmenter
Cinematography by: James Clarke
Film Editing: Mags Arnold, Paul Monaghan, Marc Richardson
Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan, Marta Barrio, Margo Stilley, Rebecca Johnson.
It’s been four years since, The Trip To Italy (2014) with, The Trip To Spain being the third in a series featuring the antics of good mates, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Although, it feels like these two have been thrown together to out-do each other in their best impersonation of Mick Jagger.
The Trip To Spain is about turning 50, with Rob feeling ancient but settled as a father of 2 young children and Steve lost and divorced and trying to write a book about Spain (from a non-Spanish perspective) to keep his career afloat. Mostly, The Trip To Spain’s about the banter between the two men and seemingly endless impersonations, some of which I’m still scratching my head as to who the hell they were trying to be.
Likened to the (fittingly) Spanish novel, Don Quixote by Cervantes (1605), both men discus the similarities of their journey to that of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
So, it makes sense the film is both a parody and a tragedy of mates endlessly crapping on.
Traveling the length of Spain (over 1000 miles), this was a road trip with shots of Spanish scenery from cathedrals to cliff-top restaurants to winding roads through orange and yellow rocky terrain.
But if Rob was supposed to be critiquing the food served in the restaurants that were the Stops and where the guys really let loose, there really wasn’t that much talk of food.
Except for this bit, which was pretty funny:
Rob: There are few things worse in life than a tomato without flavour. This is the antithesis of that.
Steve: Well, bombing in Syria. That might pip it to the post.
The Trip To Spain was both extremely clever and extremely stupid.
With both men gesticulating their head and neck like a peacock and the behaviour sticking so the two peacocks (Steve and Rob) were always trying to out-do the other, particularly when adding agent, Emma (Claire Keelan) and photographer, Yolanda (Marta Barrio) as an audience.
Those bloody impersonations got annoying, yet so annoying they were funny.
I felt a little out-of-sync with the audience, absolutely getting tickled by unexpected moments of idiocy, only to be annoyed by other parts that people in the audience found hilarious.
Some references I just didn’t get which takes the fun out of watching, segregating the audience between those up with English 50-year-old culture and those not…
What gave the film credibility was the underlying drama and conflict of Rob and Steve dealing with life at 50. Beneath the surface there’s some real processing going on; a fight to figure the way out of the forest of middle-aged life.
What happens when life doesn’t make sense at 50?
Although, The Trip To Spain, wasn’t my cup-of-tea, there were some truly funny moments, and aside from all the peacock gesticulating there was an underlying story that crept up, shown in a way to create circles within circles that was really quite clever.