Streisand and Rogen Make an Affable Pair in The Guilt Trip
- Wednesday, December 19, 2012
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2012
Rating: PG-13 (language and some risqué material)
Run Time: 95 min.
Director: Anne Fletcher
Actors: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogan, Adam Scott, Julene Renee-Preciado, John Funk, Zabryna Guevara, Kathy Najimy
For anyone keeping track at home, The Guilt Trip is officially actor Seth Rogen’s first PG-13 comedy. Probably best known as the lovable schlump in a slew of Judd Apatow movies including Funny People and Knocked Up, Rogen proves he can still be funny with a far less profane set-up. In fact, he and Barbra Streisand make a pretty affable pair as they criss-cross the country in The Guilt Trip.
In true Streisand fashion, the now 70-year-old singing and acting legend is in her full gawjuss element—Jersey girl accent, long French-manicured nails and all—as Joyce, an overbearing Jewish widow and mother to her romantically challenged son Andrew (Rogan).
Given that they live on opposite coasts (he’s in Los Angeles, she’s still in Jersey), Joyce calls Andrew way more than she should with advice ranging from the importance of proper hydration to what he should be wearing to his upcoming pitch meetings. And just to solidify her status as a meddlesome mama, she regularly offers him unsolicited therapy courtesy from one of her best pals who I’m guessing doesn’t exactly have a PhD in psychology.
That said, it’s probably no surprise that Joyce is happy as can be when her curly-haired pride and joy is in town for a business meeting with K-Mart’s higher ups. As the inventor of a new organic cleaning tonic with a problematic name, Scioclean, Andrew has an opportunity to tell them why they should be stocking his FDA-approved product.
Only trouble is, he’s a chemist so all the technical mumbo-jumbo on why it works so well isn’t exactly resonating with the suits. Really, Andrew’s only hope for getting his passion project off the ground is the remaining meetings he’s got set up elsewhere. Whether it’s Roanoke, Nashville, Las Vegas or somewhere in between, he’s hoping that someone—anyone—will catch his vision. Naturally, Mom is more than happy to offer her proverbial .02 on the matter.
While filling his Mom in on his prospects, a surprising revelation about a past boyfriend he’s named for eventually leads to Andrew inviting her (albeit reluctantly) along for the ride. Of course, this is when things really get interesting as dear ol’ Babs’ quirks—and that’s putting it nicely—start driving Andrew absolutely nuts. From her questionable choice of audio book to the cramped car they’re practically calling home for nine days to cheap hotels and unexpected weather delays, there’s plenty of opportunities for mother-son bonding.
With an enjoyably madcap, we’re-just-making-it-up-as-we-go sensibility, The Guilt Trip truly captures the ups and downs of traveling. The snack runs at sketchy gas stations, the endless stretches of cornfields in the Midwest, the arguments about this and that, it’s all here, and the family element gives it all a special flair.
Like your average sitcom, some set-ups naturally work better than others, but Rogen and Streisand are clearly game for anything—even if it involves ingesting roughly four pounds of beef, a baked potato, side salad and a shrimp shooter at a Texas steakhouse for a free dinner and bragging rights.
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