In Michael Winterbottom's "The Trip," actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play themselves as they take a tour of country restaurants in northern England and generally pester each other.

In Michael Winterbottom's "The Trip," actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play themselves as they take a tour of country restaurants in northern England and generally pester each other.

Or maybe they don't play themselves.

It's unclear whether these versions of the two men are accurate or just excessive characterizations. Surely Coogan isn't the joyless, fame-hungry womanizer that the film portrays him to be, is he?

In the film, Coogan is hired by The Observer to write a review of some extravagant country inn restaurants, but when his girlfriend pulls out of the trip, he's forced to fall back on his friend Brydon.

The picturesque setting of the film is magnificent, and the food they're served looks delicious, but the film isn't all that concerned with either. Much of the film is spent with Coogan looking for cell phone service and with Brydon's celebrity impersonations.

The film, which began as a six-part British television series, was largely improvised, which is probably where it gets much of its humor. There's no way to script a lengthy conversation between two men that revolves around which one does a better Michael Caine voice, and yet it's a scene that proves to be one of the funniest I've seen this year.