Photograph: BBC/Revolution/Phil Fisk
There is perhaps no book in America more famous for glamorizing life on the road than Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel On the Road.
This is not the first, nor will it be the last film to romanticize life on the road. A few of my favorites are:
- Two-Lane Blacktop
- Thelma and Louise
- La Strada
- Something Wild
- Bottle Rocket
- Pierrot le fou
- Easy Rider
But I’d like to discuss a 2010 film called The Trip. In this movie, Steve Coogan is hired by a local magazine for three weeks to review fancy restaurants throughout the lush English countryside, including L’Enclume, Hipping Hall and Holbeck Ghyll.
Along for the ride is Rob Brydon, Coogan’s close friend. The two actors play versions of themselves in the film. They share meals, while exchanging impersonations of Woody Allen, Michael Caine and James Bond.
Set against the scenic backdrop of rolling pastures and four star restaurants, the film is about friends ruminating on their personal and professional lives. What’s gone right? What’s gone wrong? How could it have been different? The self-inflicted misery they endure humorously teaches us how we so often forget to appreciate what is directly in front of us – nature, friends and food.
England comprises about 50,000 square miles. It’s a very long trip.
By comparison, the St. Louis Area Foodbank serves more than 14,000 square miles throughout 14 Missouri counties and 12 Illinois counties. Our service territory is about 30 percent of the size of England.
Year-round, our drivers spend much of their days on the road, delivering food to our agencies and picking it up from our donors.
I’m sure if we asked them, our drivers could share some of their favorite stories from life on the road. It might even make a great film.