The Trip to Italy

January 29, 2014 : 6:04 pm | by Connor Heckler

Rob Brydon is hilarious. Steve Coogan is hilarious. A movie that has those two eating and drinking while doing impressions must, ergo, be funny. It is.

The Trip to Italy is a classic road-trip film. It shares that description with co-Sundance premiere Land Ho!. Like Land Ho!, The Trip to Italy has a wacky and zany character, Rob Brydon, and a calmer character, Steve Coogan, to balance each other out. Rob Brydon goes across Italy searching for a mistress, something Steve Coogan disapproves of strongly. Steve Coogan, meanwhile, grapples with his poor relationship with his son.

The storyline of Rob Brydon having sex with some random Italian woman is not interesting and it results in no added comedic lines. It is, in essence, totally pointless. The film ends with this storyline not wrapping up and throughout the film Rob Brydon seems to act as though it simply doesn’t happen. Steve Coogan’s reactions of discomfort leave a lot to be desired and  It leaves no effect on other scenes and I question why the massive editing team didn’t cut the entire thing out.

The film is almost entirely Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan doing improvisational impersonations. The first and arguably most memorable scene has Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan doing impersonations of the characters/actors from the Dark Knight Rises. This really sets the film up for more laughs and the film doesn’t stop. The film constantly builds and rebuilds its comedic storylines, revisiting old ones while establishing new ones.

Overall the film is funny, if a bit misguided or at times unguided. Michael Winterbottom does a great job as usual. His guiding of Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in their mostly improvised scenes is excellent. I would heartily recommend The Trip to Italy. However, I would not recommend it before Land Ho!. I consider the latter to be a much funnier film.


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