After their successful road trip around Italy in 2014, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite once again to review the restaurants of Spain.
Armed with their irrelevant knowledge of pop culture and messed up sense of humour, the two go on a journey of Don Quixote proportions, eating fine Spanish cuisine, sleeping in majestic castles, connecting with the locals, taking in the serenity, and asking the big philosophical questions in life like – “Whose Mick Jagger impression is better?”, “How many people have seen Philomena?” and “Why does this guy keep rambling on?” – For the record, these aren’t actual quotes from the movie. They’re paraphrases for the sake of a convenient synopsis. It’s a trip that they’ll never forget, until it’s time to part ways.
The Trip to Spain is an absolute delight to watch. For a third instalment of a film series, it certainly does not disappoint. From start to finish, it’s hard to stop yourself from smiling the whole way through. Much of the credit goes to Coogan and Brydon, who are fantastic as the fictionalised versions of themselves, displaying great comedic chemistry and a knack for wit. Their banter about current events, past events and celebrity news is nothing short of comedy gold – and perhaps the smartest chunks of dialogue ever heard on the silver screen.
Michael Winterbottom’s direction also deserves credit, thanks to his basic, yet breathtaking style of filmmaking. A lot of the camera shots in The Trip to Spain are basic, by-the-book closeups, long-shots and mid-shots; but surprisingly, he still manages to find the freedom to get creative and passionate with the project, capturing the beauty and liveliness of Spain perfectly. There are scenes of rolling hills, mighty landscapes, radiant towns, magical country sides and very, very beautiful sunsets (he and his crew capture the Spanish sunlight so well on screen). For an independent comedy, Winterbottom gives an artistic twist to the film, with just about every frame looking like a painting from the Renaissance Era, but with modern elements thrown in.
If you are a fan of twisted humour and the simple concept of two blokes talking about life as we know it, then I highly recommend this film. If you are a fan of pieces like Waiting for Godot (2001) or My Dinner with Andre (1981), or the TV series Louie, then The Trip to Spain will be the perfect night at the movies for you. I had a brilliant evening watching the film, and I have no doubt that anyone interested in seeing it will have a brilliant night also.
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon talk about the song “The Windmills of Your Mind” by Noel Harrison and it is played at the film’s ending. A different version of this song by The King’s Singers was played at the end of the final episode of I’m Alan Partridge (1997), where Alan goes to see the unsold copies of his autobiography being pulped.