A Trip To Spain serves up delightful third course

Actor-comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite for the third in their tasty film series that sees them eating their way around delightful locations within Europe. This time it’s Spanish cuisine’s time to shine in this mouth watering road trip around Spain’s top nosh outlets that’ll get your stomach rumbling and your wanderlust switch turned up to eleven.

The formula remains the same as in The Trip and The Trip to Italy, Coogan and Brydon hit the road to visit some of the regions most acclaimed restaurants to write a series of newspaper reviews. If you’ve not seen the previous films, the two performers play fictitious versions of themselves, but presented as real life, allowing these two hugely talented and funny performers to exhibit their sharp wit and share road trip repartee thanks to an excellently crafted script and perfectly improvised banter.

The duo’s dynamic continues to develop, with the melancholy and deadpan Coogan and upbeat Brydon playing as each other’s antidote. Brydon’s seemingly happy family life is the mirror opposite of Coogan’s more lonely and distant personal relationships with his son and on-off lover. This is where the film really steps up outside of more than a great comedy, it has layers, adding an insight into the performer’s inner turmoil adding a level of sophistication to their characterisation. Coogan’s storyline, in particular, depicts loneliness and desperation that turns the tone of the films focus away from food.

This wouldn’t be a ‘Trip to’ film without the obligatory impersonations, and they are as magnificent as ever with the Mick Jaggers and Roger Moores being particularly memorable. This showcase of talent remains as entertaining in this third outing as it was in the first which is to the credit of the writing and authenticity of the performances. The direction is as slick as the performances not departing from the previous films’ style. The vistas are truly beautiful, shown off by the simply framed aerial shots. Inside the restaurants hot, loud, busy kitchen scenes juxtapose the chilled atmosphere and chitchats.

The Trip to Spain gives the perfect serving of comedy talent and culinary delights and dramatic storyline making this a satisfactory third course.

In NZ cinemas from 17th August.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar.

4 stars