December 19, 2012
United States (English)
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Written by Dan Fogelman
Streisand and Rogan are a watchable mother-son duo, but they're stuck in this typical road trip of a movie that does nothing new or better to the subgenre.
Seth Rogan plays Andy Brewster, a struggling inventor of a new cleaning product who pitches his product to some big name businesses. (Forget product placement, "The Guilt Trip" is packed to the gills with franchise placement from Hertz rental car to Costco to the Home Shopping Network.) His widowed, and apparently lonely, mother (played by Barbra Streisand) leaves message after message on his phone much to Andy's annoyance. When he learns a secret about his mother Andy invites her on a road trip across the country while he makes stops to sell Scieoclean (it's pronounced SCI-O-CLEAN," but nobody in the film gets it - that's one of the running gags).
What would you expect from a road trip movie? Bad weather, car trouble, tourist traps, and yes, even a bar fight ensue. Andy's mom even manages to get some suitors along the way. Nothing new to see here folks, move right along. Rogan and Streisand are good character actors and they do have some genuine sentimental moments together which work the best, but most of their antics are as stale as they are generic. I only heartily laughed out loud once, that's not something I like to report for a comedy. "The Guilt Trip" must gets it's name because Andy takes pity on his mother and invites her along on the journey, though it could also refer to how you may feel during your drive home from the theater if you spent full price on this middle-of-the-road fair.
CONTENT: some strong language, brief violence, some sexual conversation and brief sensuality