Friday, May 22, 2020

'The Trip To Greece' Is The (Final?) Word

C'mon! Gimme some Michael Caine!

The Trip to Greece, the fourth and (possibly) last in the movie (and TV) series featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's culinary adventures around Europe, is filled with a lot of things we can't do right now, like traveling, eating at restaurants, and trading jokes and imitations with a friend who is sitting closer than six feet away.

For some, the longing to do all (or at least most) of the above may bring on a level of envy so strong it may not seem worth watching. But to those doubters I'd stay give it a shot. Because of all the Trip films, The Trip to Greece hits a melancholy note that's perfectly befitting these times.

That said, the majority of the film is simply more of what we've come to expect from the series, and I don't say that critically. Director Michael Winterbottom knows that's what we want from the series. We want to hear Brydon and Coogan's competing impersonations (this time, dueling Dustin Hoffmans are the highlight, with Michael Caine oddly absent). We want to hear their backstabbing compliments and passive aggressive observations of each others' lives and careers as they visit ancient ruins, following in (some of) Odysseus's footstep. And we want to see delicious food served in beautiful Greek settings. (I'm not actually sure if this entry had fewer food and kitchen shots, but it felt like it did, though perhaps that stems from my aforementioned longing for an experience I can't have right now and wanting more, more, more.)

Ultimately, my longing was tempered by the sheer fun I had watching The Trip to Greece. It was a welcome diversion, and a lovely reminder that life has just been paused, not cancelled--we can still laugh! Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan have said recently this may not be the actual end of The Trip, hinting at a possible return in ten years. But who knows, after these months of not being able to do any of the things they've been doing for ten years on film, maybe they'll be itching to hit the road again, and bust out some tableside Brando impersonations sooner than later.

The Trip to Greece is now available to rent on most VOD platforms.

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