Fans of Tristram Shandy (2006) will get a kick out of this partly improvised miniseries where we follow comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a restaurant tour of northern England. The audience is treated to delicious dishes served in actual first-rate eateries, as well as gorgeous sceneries, all serving as backdrop to Coogan and Brydon’s love-hate relationship. In every conversation, they take sly digs at each other and make endless celebrity imitations… anything to avoid having to talk about something real. Some may find this very talky and self-centered, but it is undeniably funny (with streaks of darkness) and the two stars are incredibly good, not just at imitating, but also portraying male shortcomings.
2010-Britain. Made for TV. 172 min. Color. Produced by Andrew Eaton, Melissa Parmenter. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon.
Last word: “When we were doing ‘A Cock and Bull Story’, it was an adaptation of ‘The Life And Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ of course, but there’s a piece at the beginning where Steve and Rob are talking with each other while being made up and another at the end where they’re watching a rough cut of the film-within-a-film they’ve just done, which I thought was really indelible to what were the two funniest bits in the film. Since then, I’ve had quite a few lunches with Steve and Rob where they’re relaxed and can sort of relate and, you know, ramble on at length. I thought it would be quite fun to seem them do that on screen.” (Winterbottom, Interview Magazine)