Eating, driving, riffing, and ranting in 'The Trip'
Some have compared the British feature import “The Trip’’ (2011) to “My Dinner With André’’ for all the screen time spent talking and dining by comedians Steve Coogan (“Tropic Thunder’’) and Rob Brydon, cast as exaggerated versions of themselves. We’re reminded more of an unplugged “Sideways,’’ as the pair eat, drive, riff, and snipe amid fine cuisine and finer scenery, revealing plenty about their characters along the way. Here, though, there’s no growth. These friends-of-sorts are who they are, and, amusingly, that’s who they’ll remain. The premise has insecurely egotistical Coogan getting a newspaper assignment to do a celebrity foodie tour of the north of England. When his girlfriend bails, he reluctantly invites along easygoing Brydon, who’s got a knack for impersonations and shrugging off Coogan’s condescension. They deliver dueling Michael Caine and Bond villain impressions, they belt out ABBA, and they imagine how they’d eulogize each other. Even though director Michael Winterbottom (Coogan and Brydon’s “Tristram Shandy’’) serves up some tantalizing culinary shots, they’re completely beside the point. The duo’s liveliest critique is that a tomato bisque is “quite tomato-y. And soupy.’’ Extras: The ragging continues in a terrific 100-minute assortment of deleted scenes. “Do you know how heavy [my] BAFTA [award] is?’’ Coogan boasts. “It would kill you with one blow. What would you get from [your] nomination? A paper cut.’’ The reel hints at the origins of “The Trip’’ as a six-part BBC TV series edited to movie length for the United States. (IFC Films, $24.98)