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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Steve Coogan Continues The Trip

18 months ago, I raved about a new entry on my Movies You Might Not Know list, "The Trip," starring Steve Coogan as a writer hired to travel the British countryside visiting upscale restaurants and writing reviews of them. His friend Rob Brydon came along, and the two of them improvised much of their dialogue to hilarious effect. One scene from the movie went viral, with the two of them doing dueling impressions of Michael Caine.

Coogan is now in theaters as the writer/producer/star of the Oscar-nominated "Philomena" with Judi Dench, the real-life story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman whose baby was taken from her by nuns at a convent for teen mothers, and her search for him 50 years later with the help of a reporter named Martin Sixsmith. It's wonderfully told, thanks to Coogan's script and his chemistry with Dench.

Now I'm happy to say Coogan and Brydon have done a sequel, "The Trip To Italy," which debuted this week at the Sundance Film Festival to good reviews but won't be in a theater near you for several months. In it, Coogan and Brydon are on another road trip, talking all the way, and working in impressions of Al Pacino, Humphrey Bogart, Woody Allen, Hugh Grant, Robert DeNiro, Pierce Brosnan, Paul McCartney, Anthony Hopkins, Marlon Brando, Roger Moore (singing a Simon and Garfunkel song) -- and, of course, Michael Caine, as part of a riff on several of the actors in "The Dark Knight Rises"...