THE TRIP TO SPAIN — Review by Martha K. Baker

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Bottom line: The Trip to Spain is not as good as The Trip or The Trip to Italy, but what do you expect? The comedy team of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon does not appeal to everyone, but under Michael Winterbottom’s direction, The Trip series also offers food and travel for your delectation. Continue reading…

The premise of the series is that Coogan and Brydon, originally defaulted into reviewing restaurants, now undertake the job. That they still know nothing about food and less about other languages does not keep them from spouting their knowledge like elephants drop pheromones.

Their conversational phallomachy pits each one to outdo the other in titbits and toss-offs. They each have a wide repertory of imitations, some of the same men. The Trip to Spain includes the voices of Sean Connery, Quentin Crisp, and Mick Jagger in dynamics whose terracing depends on the ambient noise of this restaurant or their Range Rover.

Brydon leaves his wife and children (Charlie is so cute!) to accompany Coogan to Spain for a week. The film is sliced into days at appropriate times, including when they’ve outstayed their welcome a skosh. Coogan expects to meet up with his son Joe at the end of the week’s tour of restaurants. In between, both try to do their business with much Facetiming and cell-phoning to agents and managers. Neither man worries about looking like a jackass, and that’s what undergirds their dialogues and monologues and travelogues.

In between their patter, mostly improvised, there are spectacular aerial shots of the Spanish country side and close-ups of food being prepared in steamy kitchens across Spain. “The Trip to Spain” offers dry humor, word play, and adolescent behavior. My Dinner with André it’s not, thank goodness.

I’m Martha K. Baker. From the Grand Center Arts District, this is 88.1 KDHX, St. Louis.

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Martha K. Baker

Martha K. Baker

I first taught film at Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1969 and became a professional film reviewer in 1976 in St. Louis, Mo. Through the years, I have reviewed films for the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Episcopal Life, and KWMU (NPR), among other outlets. I've reviewed at KDHX radio, my current outlet, for nearly 20 years.