The Trip (2003)
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Critic Reviews for The Trip
Despite its flaws, it eventually gets under your skin and is sweetly moving.
There is absolutely nothing that hasn't been said more compellingly and originally somewhere else, and said often.
The story's third-act detour into tragedy is predictable and unwelcome, providing a resolution that is too pat and familiar to be moving.
By the time it's over you'll be able to fill a bumper sticker with everything you've learned.
The screenplay has huge holes, character motivations are inexplicable, the tone switches from serious to loopy and back to serious, and the editing is choppy and uneven.
Audience Reviews for The Trip
After 2 decades of courting and drama, a young couple goes to Mexico searching for a cure for HIV. Campy as hell and filled with progressive propaganda, the Trip felt short on a good premise.
A captivating small film dealing with the relationship of two gay men over many years and the surrounding upheaval of the gay movement. Many wonderful supporting performances contribute to the overall goodwill of the film. Sirena Irwin is a sketch as Beverly the trend jumping greek chorus and Jill St. John an absolute scene stealer as Alan's boozy wise mom. The musical score is also loaded with excellent choices which really set the right tone for each scene. It all boils down however to the chemistry and performances of the two lead actors which are strong and makes you really like and root for the characters through their journey.
"Can you get me your supervisor please, or maybe a human being if you've got one back there?"
Well, that was unexpected. Not only is The Trip good, it's damn good. Ok, so it's yet ANOTHER story where AIDS rears its ugly head to claim the life of an undeserving gay guy, but at least the story here is told with a fair amount of conviction and good intentions. Spanning over a decade, The Trip cleverly uses archive footage from newsreels as well as music and fashions of the period. It's not exactly massively ambitious but looks like it was made for a good deal more money than was actually thrown at it, and the two lead performances are winning. Larry Sullivan is all goofy Jake Gyllenhall-esque with the odd temper tantrum, and is a pretty hot mess, despite some awful haircuts. Steve Braun has less range but makes the most of a slightly underwritten role, and has this Brad Pitt/Nick Stahl mix in him that works well. Both actors also age quite convincingly, which is always a hard trick to pull off. Also impressive is the photography - The Trip is beautifully lit. A couple of the scenes drag and are overplayed (one in which Alan's mum and kooky friend come to pay him a visit is especially cringy), but mostly the balance between drama and comedy is successful, and the final minutes are genuinely touching.
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