MOVIE: THE TRIP TO GREECE
STARRING: STEVE COOGAN; ROB BRYDON
DIRECTED BY: MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
The concept is the same, the scenic views are gorgeous, the food looks delectable, but the journey just gets better and better. The Trip to Greece is the fourth installment in “The Trip” series, each involving actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing variations of themselves, touring different parts of the world, and learning more about who they are in the process. And yet, there is something different about this one. I thought they could have stopped at three films, but director Michael Winterbottom continues to find more gold in these adventures and with this go around, he strikes to the heart of what it means to be living. I genuinely became emotional at the end of The Trip to Greece. Coogan and Brydon have an excellent chemistry, delivering plenty of laughs, and revealing to us the things that truly matter in the end.
Unlike the previous installment- The Trip to Spain, things don’t take time to setup. Rob and Steve are already pleasantly having lunch in Greece, sitting next to a beautiful ocean view, enjoying a glass of wine, and talking about Steve’s recent BAFTA nomination for Stan & Ollie. They have once again been hired by a magazine to write about their trip and at this point, the relationship is equal to that of brothers picking up where things left off. The two often pick on one another, ripping each other apart for failed movie projects, or bringing their ego’s back down to earth. The jokes consist of often perfect impersonations of Roger Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more. In between the dinners, the laughs, and beautiful locations, are the moments where the two go back to their lives at home. Rob missing his wife and kids. Steve talking to his son, who’s back home with the responsibility of taking care of Steve’s ailing father. The pace of The Trip to Greece is exactly like life. A beautiful trip to paradise, while reality waits in the wings, ready to drag you back down.
I looked back at my review for The Trip to Spain and expressed my wish to have a trip such as this with my very best friend Patrick Boyle before I die. That sentiment is still true today and it is even stronger after watching The Trip to Greece. This series has been the ultimate representation of a bromance, making it impossible to not want to experience an adventure like this on your own. The laughs are constant and a maturity level that grows with each installment. What director Michael Winterbottom has continued to get right is that he understands the souls of these two men. There’s a perfect mixture of sophistication and buffoonery, creating an evolving relationship from one historic Greek landmark to the next. In The Trip to Greece the laughs are genuine and an intellectual style sets it apart from other comedies one tends to see.
What I wasn’t expecting was the emotional side of The Trip to Greece. I think that is something that has developed more with age. This time, I was relating to the lives of Brydon and Coogan more than ever before. Their flaws as men, their responsibilities away from the trip, the stress of life, family, lovers, the temptations of delicious foods, and wine. It’s all completely human and as I have grown older, had kids of my own, I realize that a trip such as that is something to cherish. And as this adventure came to an end, I had tears in my eyes, a belly filled with laughs, and a hope that these movies will continue for as long as they can. The Trip to Greece was a majestic one. I can’t wait to see where the road takes Brydon and Coogan next. Life is about the journey, not about the destination.
3 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady