on the roof
220 36th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11232
D, N, R to 36 St
|8:30PM||Live Music by MAVROTHI KONTANIS|
|10:30PM||After Party in the Courtyard Sponsored by New Amsterdam Gin and Vodka|
The Trip To Italy (Michael Winterbottom | 115 min.)
Discussing the finer points of cannibalism on a European food tour may initially seem to be in bad taste, but once again comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s predilection for playing before their food makes everything go down fun and easy. Director Michael Winterbottom’s largely improvised 2010 film, The Trip, took the two—or semifictionalized versions thereof—on a restaurant tour around northern England. In this witty and incisive follow-up, Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs. Rewhetting our palates from the earlier film, the characters enjoy mouthwatering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as Batman’s vocal register, the artistic merits of “Jagged Little Pill,” and, of course, the virtue of sequels.
Winterbottom trains his camera to capture the idyllic Italian landscape and the gastronomic treasures being prepared and consumed while keeping the film centered on the crackling chemistry between the two leads. The Trip to Italy effortlessly melds the brilliant comic interplay between Coogan and Brydon into quieter moments of self-reflection, letting audiences into their insightful ruminations on the nuances of friendship and the juggling of family and career. The result is a biting portrait of modern-day masculinity.
The inspired array of foodie porn set against beautiful Italian backgrounds is perfect fodder for the unbeatable double act of Coogan and Brydon. Whoever said sequels aren’t as good as the original obviously hasn’t seen The Trip To Italy, because afterwards you’ll want thirds and forths.
- Jeffrey Bowers
Born in Blackburn in Lancashire, England, Michael Winterbottom studied English at Oxford. His films include Butterfly Kiss, Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart, and most recently, The Look of Love.