The Trip to Spain

Movie review by
Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media
The Trip to Spain Movie Poster Image
Low-key third movie in comedy road trip series has swearing.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 108 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While non-judgmental, the pseudo-documentary style shows how negative feelings can result from negative behaviors. Feelings of competitiveness, boastfulness, and insecurity are displayed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Coogan has quit drinking alcohol and wants to start a new family. He is wanting to support his children from a previous marriage and to be present and responsible. He is, however, having an affair with a married woman. Both Coogan and Brydon remain combative in their passive-aggressive conversations and are rarely open about their feelings.

Violence

Brief comedic discussion of the torture device, "the rack," during an improvised skit about the Spanish Inquisition.

Sex

Some innuendo. A character is having an affair with a married woman.

Language

Innuendo and occasional strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "bloody," "Goddamn," "f---ing," "d--k," motherf---ing," "a--hole," "twat," and "balls."

Consumerism

A Range Rover car features heavily and is briefly mentioned by the characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine is briefly discussed by the main characters. One character has stopped drinking alcohol and the other only drinks with meals.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Trip to Spain is the third comedic outing in the series of The Trip movies starring semi-improvised, fictionalized versions of actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The pair travel across Spain together on a week-long restaurant review assignment for two newspapers. Along the way they reveal a few more home truths and vocally spar in their attempts to do the best celebrity impersonations. These impersonations have become what the movies are known for -- De Niro, Bowie, Jagger to name but some -- and occasionally feature swearing, including variations of "f--k." The movie series continues to be a sympathetic but honest study of middle-aged men and the attitude and vulnerability of actors. Complex relationships are depicted, including a character's affair with a married woman and references to being a better parent. The characters travel in a Range Rover car, which is shot at times like a car advertisement and is discussed by the characters. Alcohol is consumed with meals, although Coogan's character abstains.

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What's the story?

In THE TRIP TO SPAIN, improvised, fictionalized versions of the actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon pair up again for another restaurant road-trip, this time in Spain. However, much of their time together is spent competing to do the best celebrity impersonations, while juggling their relationships and careers in private.

Is it any good?

Even in a movie series that has been explicitly understated and concerned with what's not said rather than what is, The Trip to Spain is the most low-key yet. While The Trip depicted (the fictional) Coogan's affair and The Trip To Italy's centerpiece story was Brydon's infidelity, we meet them this time around at seemingly more stable points in their lives. The same beats are followed as before -- it starts with a phone call, Coogan picks Brydon up from his family home, and they set off across beautifully shot countryside trying delectable looking food along the way.

Coogan remains self-serious and preoccupied with his image, while trying to best Brydon's impersonations. But behind closed doors he's trying to be a better person, both in his romantic relationship and with his family. It's another layer to what is otherwise a now familiar path. But although The Trip to Spain doesn't break any new ground it is as funny, familiar, thought-provoking, and melancholic as the series has ever been.

Talk to your kids about ...

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

  • Discuss the relationship between Coogan and Brydon. Do they seem to be friends or just colleagues? What makes a good friendship?

  • Coogan is trying to become a better father. What makes a good father? What character strengths are required?

  • How does this movie compare to the first two of The Trip movies? What did/didn't you prefer?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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