The Trip to Greece

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Credits

In Theaters

Cast

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Reviewer

Bob Hoose

Movie Review

Comedy actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have wined and dined and written restaurant reviews on assignment through the likes of England, Italy and Spain. And now they’re on to Greece in their final Trip film, in which they play exaggerated and caricatured versions of themselves sampling the finer things of Greek culture—if not always the finer expressions of each other’s character.

Coogan and Brydon follow the homeward route of Odysseus, as penned by Homer. Garbed in Panama hats and light cotton shirts they make their way through Lesbos, Pilos, Athens and Hellos. They recite poetry. They dole out tidbits of mythology and history. They explore, they expound endlessly. Most importantly, they’ll eat.

Of course, they’re also at each other like a pair of rabid hyenas.

These two comedic talents can’t help but tug, pull and joust over everything from classic architecture to the history of lesbianism to the proper reenactment of a dental torture scene from the movie Marathon Man. It’s their nature. It’s their gift.

Some casual observers might overhear their humorous, self-centered English jibes and think that their discussion of the ancient Trojan War sounds more like a modern battle of the barbs. But hey, it’s all for a good cause. Well, a good meal anyway.

Positive Elements

Comedy actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have wined and dined and written restaurant reviews on assignment through the likes of England, Italy and Spain. And now they’re on to Greece in their final Trip film, in which they play exaggerated and caricatured versions of themselves sampling the finer things of Greek culture—if not always the finer expressions of each other’s character.

Coogan and Brydon follow the homeward route of Odysseus, as penned by Homer. Garbed in Panama hats and light cotton shirts they make their way through Lesbos, Pilos, Athens and Hellos. They recite poetry. They dole out tidbits of mythology and history. They explore, they expound endlessly. Most importantly, they’ll eat.

When talking about what they’re most proud of, for instance, Steve points to his acting awards while Rob notes being most proud of his children—with each ribbing the other about his values.

Spiritual Elements

Rob Brydon starts the movie by quoting from Homer’s Iliad, speaking of a goddess and an anger that pitched souls into Hades’ darkness. Similar references to classical Greek mythology and spirituality sprinkle the dialogue as the protagonists meander through historic sites and shrines. They talk of oracles, priestesses, and the complex (and human-like) flaws of the Greek gods. We’re also reminded that Steve played Hades in the movie Percy Jackson.

[Spoiler Warning] Steve has a series of troubling dreams. One of those depicts him meeting his father in something like a Greek tragedy scene, just before his real-life father dies back in England.

Sexual Content

During one part of their trip, Steve and Rob meet up with two women associated with the magazine hiring them. Steve gets romantic with one of the women, embracing and kissing her and taking her back to his room. The next morning, we see her in her underwear while Steve lies shirtless in bed.

Rob later has his wife join him in Greece. They embrace and kiss as well. And we see him climb into bed and kiss her. The next day they travel to a nearby island and romantically kiss on the beach, dressed in swimsuits.

During their journey, Steve and Rob run down a number of conversational rabbit trails focused on sexual subjects. Those include a discussion of lesbian history, for example, as well as a famed lesbian priestess who wrote erotic poetry. The comedians also joke about an oracle priestess who reportedly received prophecy through smoke blown into her genitalia. They discuss the great reported beauty of Spartan women and the irony that Spartan men were allegedly gay.

During one meal stop, a waitress wears a formfitting pair of shorts that the camera watches closely. Steve and Rob also admire a trio of bikini-clad swimmers lounging on the rocks beneath their restaurant lookout.

Violent Content

There’s no violence on display, but the protagonists do discuss historical instances of great violence, including deaths in the Trojan War, and the brutal familicide of both Alexander and Hercules.

Steve and Rob reenact painful dental-torture moments from a film.

Crude or Profane Language

Some dozen or so f-words and a couple s-words are joined by a few uses each of “d–n” and “a–.” God’s name is misused eight times (twice in combination with “d–n”). The English profanity “bloody” is used once and several crude references are made to male genitalia.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Steve and Rob drink wine with every meal. We see them and others imbibe other alcoholic beverages as well.

Other Negative Elements

None.

Conclusion

Every few years since 2010, English comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have gotten together with director Michael Winterbottom to create a pic about a trip. These travelogue-with-a-twist jaunts have all started out as a series of BBC TV shows that are then stitched together into a feature film.

It’s been said that these movies are “very British.” And I suppose that’s true, because this fourth (and reportedly last) film in the series is far from your typical American fare. It’s all about two real-life actor/comedians playing fictionalized versions of themselves; traveling through scenic slices of historic countryside; eating at five-star restaurants; and in all situations letting loose with a stream-of-consciousness gush of comedic banter and friendly one-upmanship insults.

It’s sort of what you might imagine happening if a long-running comedy team broke up and then reunited for a vacation together years later.

This pic isn’t all good food, witty jibes and dueling comedic impressions, though. A strong undercurrent of introspection swirls about as Coogan and Brydon explore the inevitability of aging and mortality, the wisdom that comes from experience and loss, and the saving grace of marital happiness.

If that collection of catch-as-you-go moments and musings can rightly be called British, well, it can also be labeled as entertaining and thought provoking. But be warned: it’s very adult at times as well. The f-bomb laden comic rants and bawdy nudge-nudge, wink-wink jokes that pop up here and there are not for the faint of heart … or a kid-packed family room.

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Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.