7:00 PM, 4th November, 2017
In 2010, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon teamed with filmmaker Michael Winterbottom for a BBC series that featured the two comedians largely improvising while playing fictionalised versions of themselves on a tour of restaurants in the UK. Edited down and released in cinemas as The Trip, it was a big hit that saw Coogan and Brydon teaming up again in 2014 for The Trip to Italy. And now the two amigos are back for their next adventure.
In the first scene Coogan calls Brydon and invites him to go on a eating and sightseeing jaunt through Spain. Brydon looks at his screaming newborn, immediately responds with a “Yes!” and they’re off. As with the first two films, there’s not much plot, but it’s delightful to eavesdrop on these two very funny, very British comedians as they converse about their lives and eat delicious food.
The nice thing about the third film of a trilogy is you can safely assume you’re going to get more of the same. With The Trip to Spain, watching the previous entries isn’t even necessary for enjoyment. You certainly won’t be disappointed given the beautiful vistas and Coogan and Brydon’s fantastic impressions of everyone from Mick Jagger to Michael Caine, John Hurt, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and half of the James Bonds. All over exquisitely presented plates of chorizo, anchovies, flan, and mussels. Delicious.
9:01 PM, 4th November, 2017
Ali (Sami) is a dreamer with high hopes for the world. He’s the warm-hearted son of a Muslim cleric (Hany), but despite his best of intentions, the life he hopes for remains just out of his reach. He becomes infatuated with a girl at school, but as luck would have it, has already been promised to another at his father’s mosque.
There’s also the small issue that, for all his life, Ali has been groomed by his family to become a doctor. And to study medicine you need good marks out of school, which he doesn’t have. So when Ali exaggerates his score to make his family proud, it proves to be the first in a string of increasingly bad decisions.
Ali’s Wedding is an adaptation of lead actor Osamah Sami’s stranger-than-fiction real life story and has the proud distinction of being Australia’s first Muslim rom-com. And though the film may depict the lives of a Muslim family in Melbourne, its authenticity and warmth finds common ground in the stories of all families.
It’s a touching and humorous tale about reconciling multicultural communities with traditional family values and modern Australian attitudes, while trying to be true to yourself.