In Michael Winterbotton’s latest offering, The Trip to Spain, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan head to — you guessed it — Spain.  What I know about Brydon: Would I Lie to You, Welsh comedian, road trips. And that’s two more things than I know about Steve Coogan (who for some reason I thought was a soccer player — go figure). Confession: I don’t like impersonations, but Rob and Steve certainly do. So read this review with that in mind.

This is their third outing ‘on the road’ after stints roaming through UK and Italy, sampling various restaurants. All supposedly supported by a column for The Observer and food reviews for the New York Times — man I wish I could get that gig. Subtexts are The Man from La Mancha and the obvious song “Windmills of Your Mind” — spot the internal references.

Though it seems like a documentary, it’s scripted (though I looked hard, I couldn’t find a writer credited).

Spouses and ancillary folks are actors — not the kitchen people, I presume.

Steve and Rob are at that time in their lives – the height of success but still somehow feeling unfulfilled. Steve’s agent has moved and, to Steve’s chagrin, hasn’t opted to take him to the new agency. Meanwhile a somewhat jealous Rob plays down Steve’s career successes, though his family life is richer, perhaps. One of the loose narrative threads is about Steve’s son (spoiler deleted). Another narrative is their professional life, which is viewed through a series of phone calls with agents, etc. It’s refreshing to see that even the famous don’t get everything to go their way. Rejection reminds us that show business is a cruel mistress. And it’s not always fun, fun, fun, though, of course this is a semifictional account meant to entertain audiences, not necessarily tell the truth.

Driving through the fabulous countryside, we careen through travelogues (when they try to one-up each other) and topics ranging from politics, middle-age and showbiz to parenting.

The observations are wry. They keep each other honest, and it’s difficult to see where the script ends and their organic conversation begins. Mainly, we see them at tables impersonating and riffing in a friendly/deadly bantering way. The food porn comes in kitchen shots and quick glimpses of meals with the all too occasional observations about the food.

In all, I found myself laughing and entertained throughout. There are loads of clever quippy one-lines. Enough to make me think about seeing the other movies. Apparently, many find them hilarious – I wouldn’t go that far, but I’d definitely go to see the fantastic scenery and to mentally plan my next trip to Spain.

The Trip to Spain is now showing at selected cinemas in Brisbane.

Read our review of The Beguiled here.