The Trip/ to Italy/Spain/Greece

THE TRIP from 2011 and its three equally delightful sequels were superbly crafted together stand-alone’s from a BBC series that began the year earlier and apparently concluded in 2020 (let’s hope not!). Each was comprised from respective seasons of six half-hour episodes, re-edited into feature form.  The basics are the same in each installment. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play themselves, or satirical versions of themselves, doing week-long runs about assorted landscapes, reviewing restaurants. They comically spar with each other, talk about their personal lives, make comments on cultural icons, basically just “engage”. The first, in which they tool around England—Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire—runs 112 minutes, and while box office figures are slippery for this quartet, it appears as though the inarguable jaunt pulled in around $3,945,000.

THE TRIP TO ITALY came out in 2014, tagged 115 minutes and looks to have been the biggest hit, with a gross in the area of  $6,133,000. Tasty targets include Liguria, Rome, Tuscany, Amalfi and Capri.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN, a 108-minute present for 2017, didn’t fare as well, taking just $1,989,000. In this one Steve convinces Rob to go with him through Cantabria, Castile, the Basque region, Aragon, La Mancha, Rioja and Andalucia. Steve tacks on Morocco for a solo jaunt.

THE TRIP TO GREECE, the 2020 fade out, has no reliable figures reported yet: that’s because COVID-19 prevented a theatrical release. Those travel-starved fans who caught it on the tube found 103 minutes of light to let into an otherwise gloomy year. Join them on a sweep through Stagira, Athens, Hydra, Delphi, and Ithaca.

All were co-written by Coogan & Brydon, all were directed by Michael Winterbottom. Recurring characters are Steve’s assistant ‘Emma’ (Claire Keelan) and Rob’s wife ‘Sally’ (Rebecca Johnson). Every installment is a joy. The scenery is wonderful, the food mouth-watering, the back & forth patter between the friends is marvelous. Join the party. Polish your Michael Caine impression.

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