Facebook Twitter

THE TRIP TO GREECE: 4 STARS. “blends travel, food and heaps of personality.”

It would be easy to think that the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon movies are easy-breezy travelogues with pretty scenery and sumptuous looking food, but they are much more than that. The latest, “The Trip to Greece,” which comes to VOD this week, brings with it all the banter, impressions and eye-catching sights you expect from these movies, but beneath the veneer of laughs lies a story about mortality and legacy.

Ten years after took their first trip together Coogan and Brydon travel from Troy to Ithaca, following in the footsteps of the Odysseus. Under blue skies the pair sparkle, almost as much as the crystal-clear turquoise water that appears in virtually every shot of the movie. From quoting Aristotle’s Poetics and impersonating Dustin Hoffman, to loudly singing 70s Bee Gee tunes and visiting Epidaurus, one of the wonders of the ancient world, they present their patented brand of high-brow and pop cultural references, mixed together in a stew that is as appealing as much of the five star “Top Chef” style food we see them eat on their travels.

“The Trip to Greece” isn’t story-driven as much as it is a snapshot of two people at different places in their lives, brought together by friendship and, amusingly, one-upmanship. The movie works not because we’re waiting breathlessly for a twist or a turn, but because of the chemistry between the two. The stories are fictional—the pair play heightened versions of themselves—but the themes that lie just below their joking—jabs about aging, mortality, neediness and vanity—add depth to what could have been a travel show farce. A subplot about a death in Coogan’s family is unexpectedly touching and never overplayed.

They say “The Trip to Greece” will be the last of these excursions and that’s a shame. Director Michael Winterbottom expertly blends travel, food and heaps of personality into one package that celebrates their friendship while acknowledging that a quick get-a-way can’t solve all your problems at home.

Comments are closed.