In an interview Bill Cosby was asked to talk about how he developed his unique style of comedic delivery, he recounted a memory of sitting in a restaurant and being enthralled by a nearby table whose occupants were hysterically laughing to the point of tears.  These people weren’t trained comedians, and they sure didn’t spend their free time penning monologues for dinner parties, yet they were able to make a table erupt with laughter because their audience not only was familiar with them, but cared about them.  When your dinner table grows to the size of a 200 seat theater, replicating this in-the-moment style of comedy can certainly be challenging, unless of course, your names are Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.

The Trip to Italy’s main strength, is that it always makes you feel like you’re part of the conversation.  The film immerses you into the world of the characters, creating a feeling that I can only liken to seeing a dear friend after being apart for a substantial length of time.  Most comedy movies make you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, but The Trip to Italy welcomes you opened-armed to the dinner table, not as a casual observer, but as an active participant.   Sure, some of the jokes may carry on a bit too long, but for me, this just added to the film’s natural appeal.  We’ve all had that moment where we realized we’ve extended a joke past its comedic climax, and it was kind of refreshing to know that even the likes of Brydon and Coogan are susceptible to the same sort of thing.

Will The Trip to Italy play well to American audiences?  The short answer is, probably not.  Unless you’re hitting the over 50 demographic, many of the film’s hilarious jabs at famous UK personalities will be met with a heavy dose of room static.  There were times when I perhaps just didn’t get it, but this is no fault of the film’s.  With a film like this, you should already know what to expect, and for those of us that may not fully grasp every high-brow reference, Winterbottom and crew do a great job at making us laugh, never once making us feel stupid for not knowing.

Overall, The Trip to Italy is a hilarious romp through the Italian countryside.  It’s probably not going to induce a bevy of gut-busting laughs, but it’s gorgeous scenarios paired with the expert comedic guile of Coogan and Brydon make for one hell of an entertaining afternoon at the movies.


Previous articleSundance 2014: Song One Review
Next articleLone Survivor Review
Ty Cooper lives in Asia and spends most his time drifting through the streets of Taiwan imagining he is Shotaro Kaneda in Akira. Once a year he takes on the unyielding snow storm that is Sundance and attempts to capture a glimpse at what the upcoming year in film has to offer. Ty first started writing for HeyUGuys after SXSW in 2010.