The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip

“The Guilt Trip” is a comedy revolving primarily around one single source of humor: Barbara Streisand uncomfortably over-mothering Seth Rogen. She leaves too many voicemails, gets way too personal with her questions, overshares, won’t stop talking, etc etc…

If that sounds horrifying to you, stay away. The “Guilt Trip” has literally nothing else of value to offer. If that sounds tolerable to you, this slight comedy ultimately has a sweet tone and will give you a mild chuckle or two along the way.

Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) is an organic chemist who’s recently quit his EPA job in order to go into business for himself. He’s invented a safe, natural cleaning product made from plants which he calls Scieoclean. Now he plans to meet with retail organizations, hoping to find a way to get it onto shelves. He’s set up a string of meetings all across the country over a span of eight days.

Before he embarks on his cross country drive, however, he has to stop and visit his mother (Barbara Streisand). His mother has been single since his father died when he was young, and now, dotes on Andy. She’s talkative, protective, and intrusive. Andy does his best to keep her at bay and maintain his sanity, but during his visit with her, he learns something about her he never knew. Prior to meeting his father, his mother was very much in love with another man. So much so in fact, that he’s actually named after him. Obviously, this is quite a bombshell for him… That night, he investigates the man and finds he’s now working in San Francisco. In the morning, still reeling from his mother’s revelation, he does the unthinkable.

He asks his mother to accompany him on his drive cross country.

Thus sets up this comedy of discomfort. From here out, we get to watch Andy and his Mom take a long trip in a car too small, listening to a book on tape that she’s selected – about a hermaphrodite. They get to listen to it in between her constant prattling about her friends, her Pilates, her life, her thoughts on everything. When she’s not busy telling him things, she’s asking him… about his business, his love life, even his penis at one point. Make no mistake, Babs’ overbearing mother character is the crux of this movie. Rogen, for his part, draws comedy out of trying to stay sane in the face of her craziness.

For the most part, I found the humor tolerable, but I can easily imagine people wanting to run for the exit doors. There were even some decent laughs buried within along the way… Plus, of course, eventually, they find a way to see each other a little better. Oh, spoiler, I guess. Even so, at best, this is slight. This movie only has one pitch to throw, and it’s not exactly hitting 95 on the radar gun. There’s a number of predictable events and the interpersonal drama never really gets too dramatic.

Still, it’s not the worst case scenario I could have imagined. So, if you’re a big fan of either Streisand or Rogen, and you run across this movie one day, you stand a decent chance of making it through in one piece.

C

Daniel Fogarty

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20 thoughts on “The Guilt Trip

  1. Oy vey! Just when you thought you were safe from Barbra Streisand vehicles. Posters and promos already made it seem too painful to sit through. Have to smile at all your ‘ it’s slightly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick ‘ adjectives in your review. :-) Looking forward to catching Parental Guidance, though. It seems promising.

    • Yeah, that’s pretty much exactly what it was. I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was, and it wound up that… its just wasn’t very good. LOL. So… there’s worse crimes than that. Heh. :D

      I dont know that it makes me look forward to “Parental Guidance” though… Oy Vey! :D

  2. I love Rogen, but nnnggh, this doesn’t sound appealing at all. And not even in the “so bad it’s good” way. Just plain awkward. And since his mom’s there, he can’t even dig into his stash of Pineapple Express and/or cut off his dad’s (fake metal statue) head! Booorrriiinnnggg….

    • LOL. Yeah, its not exactly a highly recommendable film. I dont think its going to go down as one of Rogen’s best, you know? So even if you’re a fan, I think you’ll be on safe ground skipping this one Livi.

  3. Hi Fogs! Y’know, I actually skipped an advanced screening for this as I don’t really care for the lead actors. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you Fogs!

  4. Hi, Fogs and company:

    Merry Christmas!

    Never been a huge Streisand fan. Thought she was funny in ‘What’s up, Doc’ opposite Ryan O’Neal. That was aeons ago, before her ego and adenoidal voice began to grate.

    Seth Rogen radiates the palpable vibe of a lazy slacker who got lucky.

    I’ll pass.

    • Yeahhhh… I’m not about to convince you otherwise, Jack. LOL.

      I’m not all that familiar with Streisands famous, early roles to be honest… Not that I haven’t seen a few movies she’s been in along the way. Singing should be her thing, you know? Though I know she’s retired from that now.

      • Hi, Fogs:

        I remember a story about Ms. Streisand from when she was producing, acting and directing ‘The Prince of Tides’ back in 1991. During shooting. Babs became annoyed by the occasional Marine fighter aircraft flying over her location in Beaufort, NC. Which caused delays and cost money.

        Babs called and vehemently complained to the Base Commander at Cherry Point, from when the fighters came. The Base Commander listened politely to Ms. Streisand’s tirade. And the next morning five squadrons of assorted fighters, bombers and attack aircraft (Around sixty in total) spent about two hours overflying the location set while accomplishing their morning training exercises.

        I guess Ms. Streisand’s ego can sometimes be her worst enemy.

    • Heh.

      He should have done that. Hell, this thing was just as dopey. It’s like a cleaning solution from coconut and soy… Lol. I dunno, what do I know about chemistry. :D but it seemed goofy and dumb to me!

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