Restless and out of sorts on returning to his native US after two decades as a hugely successful chronicler of the British and their language (and foibles), Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) decides that tackling the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail will be just the thing to set his world to rights. His missus (Emma Thompson) is fretful and appalled, while the only chum he can persuade to join him is Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), the veteran hellraiser with whom he travelled fractiously round Europe in his youth.
What follows is a pleasant-enough account of two shambling old geezers – Redford and Nolte are 79 and 74 respectively, Bryson a stripling of 44 when he hit the trail – taking on the grandeur of nature and rekindling an old friendship. There’s not terribly much at stake whether they complete the trek or not, but Nolte’s ornery bluster entertains throughout, and Redford’s slightly smug, distant performance is fascinating, as if the guy who seems to have it all (Bryson has a library named after him!) isn’t quite comfortable in his own skin. Ultimately superficial yet watchable throughout, it’s the very definition of classy fluff.