Steve Coogan never shuts his eyes in ecstasy while chowing down in The Trip, and that’s just one of the reasons to take in this brilliant film made from editing together the 2010 BBC series of the same name. The Trip follows Coogan and comic partner Rob Brydon on a tour of upscale restaurants in the north of England. While eating some of the best-looking food committed to celluloid in recent years, Coogan and Brydon constantly deflate it (and each other) as they do in this clip where they compare a fizzy locavore manioc leaf, ginger beer, and whiskey cocktail to mucus:
Don’t get me wrong: I love all the food-swoon movies like Eat Drink Man Woman and Big Night. Who doesn’t gasp orgasmically when they cut into that timpani, glistening with meat and egg and olives? But it’s also fun watching a couple of guys taking the piss out of the oh-so-serious food world. And it’s all the funnier when you know that Coogan and Brydon’s snot-cocktail is served as part of the tasting menu at Michelin-starred L’Enclume, which asks for and gets 65 to 80 pounds ($105 to $129) a person for one of its strenuously locavore tasting menus. Juxtaposing images of L’Enclume’s chef, Simon Rogan, arranging ingredients on a plate with tweezers with Coogan and Brydon gargling hits my food funny bone just right.
The Paris Review summed it up nicely: “Part of the joke of the film is that neither man knows very much nor particularly cares about food or wine, as evidenced at the first stop, The Inn at Whitewell, where Coogan, struggling to describe his tomato soup, says, ‘Well … it tastes of tomatoes.’ Later, at Holbeck Ghyll in Windmere, Brydon approves a Premiere Cru—’premiere: first, the best’—before getting stuck on what cru means.”
And then there are the Michael Caine impressions: