(director: Michael Winterbottom; screenwriters: Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon; cinematographer: Ben Smithard; editors: Mags Arnold/Paul Monaghan; music: Michael Nyman; cast: Steve Coogan (Steve), Rob Brydon (Rob), Claire Keelan (Emma), Margo Stilley (Mischa), Rebecca Johnson (Sally), Dolya Gavanski (Magda), Kerry Shale (Steves United States Agent); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andrew Eaton/Melissa Parmenter; IFC Films; 2010-UK)
“Has some funny moments.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A mockumentary directed by Michael Winterbottom (“Jude”/”Welcome to Sarajevo”/”A Mighty Heart”) that like the new age food displayed (ex. “duck-fat lolly”) is an acquired taste.This pic is edited from six half-hours of a 2009 Brit BBC2 TV mini-series, that sends the comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydonon a road trip around the north countryside of England to be celebrity food critics for The Observer of a few upscale restaurants. The two play fictionalized versions of themselves, as the boys reprise their fictionalized roles from Winterbottom’s Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.
Steve’s American girlfriend Mischa (Margo Stilley) was to go on the trip but opted instead to be in Las Vegas, which results in Steve inviting his married and much domesticated friend Rob as a replacement.
The two verbally mix it up by trying to outdo each other in being witty; each steps on the other’s fragile ego; do dueling impersonations of such actors as Michael Caine; talk Coleridge and Wordworth when visiting their cottages; and reflect on middle-age angst and romance. Steve is the vain and ambitious one, while Rob mainly tries to get along with his more outspoken pal by trying to be agreeable.
Though it’s overlong, lacks an emotional pull and its endless conversations are not as interesting as those in My Dinner With Andre, it nevertheless has some funny moments when the boys engage in one-upmanship and serve up their droll Brit humor.
REVIEWED ON 8/11/2011 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/