The Trip to Italy

Movie review by
Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media
The Trip to Italy Movie Poster Image
Sunnier comedy food-tour sequel has swearing, adult themes.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 108 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Few overt positive messages, but some examples of kindness and humility. Understanding that flaws don't wholly define a person or their actions, and accepting the reasons behind certain behaviors. Complexities of friendship are explored -- such as jealousy -- as is mortality. Conceding to temptation. Some adultery.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Coogan is an errant father but is shown happy and relaxed when with his son. He tries to make plans to spend more time with his children. Brydon has an adulterous one-night stand. 

Violence

Character stabbed in stomach during dream sequence has bloody wound. Discussion about who characters would eat after a plane crash.

Sex

Character flirts with a woman and has extramarital sex -- occurs off-screen. Characters discuss a poet who slept with their sister and "sodomized young boys." Jokes about sex with a prison cellmate and about being elderly and attracted to a care nurse.

Language

Innuendo and language, including "f--k," "f--king," "damn," "nonce," "bloody," "d--k," "motherf-----g," and "God" (used as an exclamation).

Consumerism

Mini brand car is shot lovingly like a car commercial and the car is discussed by characters. Ray-Ban sunglasses also feature. Both brands are mentioned in the movie's credits.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine with meals. Brief discussion of teetotal character choosing to drink wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Trip to Italy is the excellent sequel to the 2011 British comedy-drama The Trip. The restaurant review road trip set-up is the same as before and the two lead characters -- improvised fictional versions of comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon -- continue the one-upmanship from the first movie. Womanizing and infidelity occur, along with strong bad language, such as "d--k," "bloody," and variants of "f--k." Characters drink alcohol but not to excess. During a dream sequence, a character's stomach is slashed and a large, bloody wound is shown. Roles are reversed this time around, with "good guy" family man, Brydon, committing adultery -- although this occurs off screen. There is also some sexual humor. Mortality is also discussed regularly, with middle-age and legacy being key themes in the movie. Sponsored products are regularly seen, including Mini and Ray-Ban sunglasses. The Trip to Italy is the second in a series of movies.

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What's the story?

In THE TRIP TO ITALY, fictionalized versions of comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are commissioned to do another restaurant review road trip. This time the trip takes place in Italy, where temptation gets the better of them both.

Is it any good?

While 2011's The Trip was an excellent movie, but a hard ride to be along on, this is a deeper, more complex experience and one that is ultimately about acceptance of people's flaws. The Trip to Italy starts with a meta conversation between Coogan and Brydonabout how second films in series are never as good. It's a sign this trip could veer off on a pretentious, self-referential route. Thankfully a few minutes later, the familiar, naturalistic groove starts again as the two friends, tasked with reviewing restaurants, relax on their trip across a gloriously-shot Italy. 

This time around, Brydon's character is the focus. Set up in the first movie as "the good guy" of the pair, an act of infidelity in Italy brings in another texture to the already rich characterization. In contrast, Coogan -- in a more reparative mindset than the selfish character in The Trip -- tries to improve relations with his children. He also attempts -- but fails -- to avoid alcohol. There are still some YouTube-ready scenes of the duo facing off with more celebrity impersonations. But the main thrust of the movie is a study of middle-aged men and their fears. By exploring what the pair are scared of reveals what drives them, and an extra couple of hours in their company results in a warmer movie -- fitting for the climate in which it's shot -- which takes care to show the characters' moments of kindness and humility.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of strong language in The Trip to Italy. Was it necessary to the story? Who do you think the movie's intended audience is? How can you tell?

  • What is the movie's attitude toward sex. Do characters seem more interested in casual sex or in establishing deeper connections? Parents, discuss your own values on the subject.

  • The two lead characters are constantly comparing themselves to other actors, each other, and historical figures. Do you think this is a healthy attitude? What might be another way to approach life and achievements?

  • The two lead characters talk a lot about getting older. How do they feel about getting older? How do you feel about getting older?

  • How does the architecture of Italy differ from where you live?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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