I’m a bit of a homebody and that trait tranfers over to my vacation choices as well. Meaning, I like to vacation in the ol’ US of A and think a sojourn to Italy is the equivalent of buying a fine wine when the local varietal is just as palatable.
But hold up! Michael Winterbottom’s “A Trip to Italy” might be the best travel advertisement for Italy since the Oscar winning foreign film from last year, “The Great Beauty”. Vistas from every hotel and palace veranda were breath taking as was the swimming scene on the sunlit mirrored sea.
Steve Coogan, a very nice postcard to gaze from my 50 year old eyes perspective, and his comedic partner on this sequel, Rob Brydon are very funny together. Yet the laughs were more chuckle, than belly laugh. Many of their scenes are simply extended riffs on voice impersonations improving on different topics. Suggested viewing before seeing this film, by the way, is Roman Holiday which is referenced throughout.
Winterbottom seemed to want to rely too much on the visual ascetic, the food, and comedic improv. His writing merely dribbles the olive oil of the real emotional depth potential; Coogan’s character’s overt life disillusionment and Crydon’s marital strife.
Perhaps Winterbottom plans to have the co-stars confront their existential selves in a third film set in Sartre’s France which would prove he had this three course cinematic meal planned all along.
And the Alanis Morrisette sound track is the perfect sorbet. Ciao Bella!