Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Film Review of the Week: Trip to Italy 

Last week, Land Ho, a refreshing low-budget film about two sixtysomethings on a trip to Iceland, warmed the hearts of those who saw it at the Cedar Lee. This week, Trip to Italy, a snoozerino about two fiftyish guys taking just what the title says, ought to bore the living daylights out of most well-intentioned moviegoers who go to the Cedar Lee Theatre to see it when it opens on Friday.

Trip to Italy is, of course, a sequel to the 2010 comedy The Trip, and features the exact same comedic style and substance of its predecessor but in a lush new setting. The original found British actor-comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan playing semi-fictionalized versions of themselves as they traipsed around Northern England, eating at all the fanciest restaurants and staying at charming country hotels, ostensibly for a piece in the food section of a prominent U.K. news outlet. Ditto with the sequel — "They want us to do it again!" — only now the swashbuckling culinary duo gets to putz around Italy for a week.

For most of the film's overlong 107 minutes, Coogan and Brydon riff on subjects as variegated as The Dark Knight Rises and Alanis Morrissette, navigating the winding Italian roads in their Mini Cooper, stuffing themselves with ravioli at any number of haute or off-the-beaten-path Italian restaurants and whiling away the twilight hours on assorted yachts and verandas. They do all their best impressions — Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando (it is Italy, after all), Michael Caine, Hugh Grant — and self-effacingly talk about their celebrity and their generic mid-life crises. Meanwhile, they vaguely retrace the physical and intellectual paths of British romantic poets in self-exile. Snore.

Beyond the truly remarkable impressions — Brydon's Hugh Grant is impeccable — occasional "crackling banter" between the two stars and some lovely Italian scenery, the film has very little to recommend it. It's a broad, discursive advertisement for Italian tourism masquerading as a docu-buddy-comedy. It's "scenes of funny British men having non-urgent conversations." This is the stuff of weekly podcasts, not film.  

And look, if you're very wealthy, have nothing but time on your hands and happen to be considering a vacation to Rome or Naples, Trip to Italy certainly showcases an array of high-end hotel options and sumptuous (if fish-heavy) entrees. Otherwise, you'll be scratching your head through the endless Godfather variations and one 10-minute improvised scene about Bane and Batman, pondering the paradox that though this is a movie about a trip, it doesn't really go anywhere.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • 19th Annual Standing Rock International Shorts Festival @ The Kent Stage

    • Sat., March 5
  • Drive My Car @ Cleveland Cinematheque

    • Fri., Feb. 4
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Cedar Lee Theatre

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: PO Box 1028, Willoughby, OH 44096-1028, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation