Los Angeles based organic chemist Andrew Brewster has just sunk his life savings into developing and now marketing an environmentally friendly, effective and human safe home cleaning product. Despite these attributes, he is having problems making any sales to distributors and retailers. He has planned a cross country business trip via automobile to make sales pitches to various companies along the way, starting in New York City and ending in Las Vegas. While in New York, Andy plans to stay with his overbearing mother, New Jersey residing Joyce Brewster, with who he has a love/hate relationship and who he does not see very often anymore. He doesn't want to tell her of his sales failures thus far as he knows she will only add more than her two-cents into the matter, which he doesn't want. Joyce's focus of attention is on Andy's single status and what looks to be his stalled romantic life, out of which again he wants her to stay. Widowed when Andy was eight, Joyce has never remarried or ... Written by
Dan Fogelman wrote the film based on a road trip he and his mother Joyce took from New Jersey to Las Vegas, Nevada. The film is dedicated to her. See more »
On the way to see her old boy friend, Joyce uses Ben's name, not Andy's, when she is talking about not having seen him in thirty years. See more »
you want me to go to one of Gayle's miserable singles event? That's what you want? You want me whoring myself out? Put on a thong?
I'm going to sleep now, Ma.
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During the credits, more is shown of Andy and his mother dealing with each other during the long drive, that is, several of Rogen and Streisand's comic improvisations. The 'mini-screen' moves a few times to make room for the credits. See more »
enjoyably sweet, surprisingly low key film, makes the most of the chemistry between its two stars even tho its a little flat in places
Sweet movie with a few well handled sour moments that shows you the gradual reconnecting of a somewhat strained mother/son relationship. Its not that the two don't like each other, just that they're way too easily annoyed by one another (yes especially rogen by streissand with her constant phone messages consisting of nothing but questions, but also the other way around too in a couple of quick scenes where Streissand is seemingly all too aware of how annoying her son finds her, which leads to her surprised reaction at being asked by him to go on this road trip.) The film does a very good job of showing you (and not just telling you) the two characters starting to not just like each other but appreciate each other as actual people throughout the course of the film even if it is a little slanted on the side of the mother (but of course it would be--its barbra steissand after all) I especially liked the recurring scenes of the two of them listening to a book on cd of Middlesex throughout the film--all 22 discs of it! Its a cute device that could double as a nice representative of the film as a whole--a little hokey at first, the jokes made are a little shopworn at first as well (Rogen is rather uncomfortable with the subject matter of the book, which is understandable given that its so not the kind of book you'd wanna experience with your mom at your side) but the recurring scenes throughout the movie as both characters keep coming back to that book on cd (rogen gradually giving in to the narrative as well despite its over length) are effective. The film itself started to have that kind of effect on me as well in that the film is a little on the hokey shopworn side but you kind of connect to them as people as the film goes on and hope they manage to work out whatever differences they have. The film is actually full of recurring things like that that start out kind of corny but become effective thru repetition. Like, Streissand's character loves m and m's--she's seen waking up or going to bed and covered in wrappers in a scene at the beg and then again in the middle and then towards the end when Rogen spots a big m and m figure his pointing out of it to his mom was a cute moment that was well built up to. Details like that are really nice touches that to me go a long way to keeping the film's characters likable and human and not just stick figures in a movie. The movie could probably be best described as cute, but there are some very funny one liners throughout as well as some scenes that do a good job wringing drama out of the situation as well without being too heavy handed about it.
Its been mentioned here as well but this is also a fundamentally nice film too-there aren't many scenes here that would make you squirm if you were sitting next to your mom watching it--and i think to their credit the writer and director did a good job making a mother/son film that successfully exploits the gap between the two without piling on what could have been really obvious and labored jokes--there's a very nice sense of low key chemistry between the two stars that even when the two of them are confronting one another on their shortcomings, never quite crosses into uncomfortable hostility despite the fact that it could have very easily done so. Also despite some predictable stretches, and some scenes that don't really add anything except minutes to the running time, there is a nice lived in and somewhat laid back vibe to the film as a whole. (for example the quick breakdown of the car in the middle of the highway and them having to wait for the tow truck to arrive while at a strip club scene while nicely low key might not really add anything plot wise, but it is fairly plausible that's that how the 2 characters would react in that situation and thankfully at no point does the film threaten to descend into shrill unpleasant characterizations and unlikely "comedic" things happening which a lesser film like the meet the focker sequels that streissand herself appeared in would've indulged in.) I think for me the best parts and prob the meat of the film were the ones that involved streissand in rogen's attempts to sell his cleaning product--throughout the film he's bombing at his various sales presentations where he's supposed to be enticing the store buyers (including Costco and K-Mart) into wanting to know more about his new product--and its only at the end when he finally gets over himself long enough to actually listen to what his mom had been telling him earlier in the film that he starts to actually change his sales tactics--and again i think this was just a very nice and effective way to show the character growth without hitting you over the head with the fact that the son managed to learn a couple things from his mom after all, despite the very annoying tendencies of his mom to couch the actual valid arguments in rather nagging tones that would of course lead him to discard anything she might actually have to say. Its a sweet little film and thankfully it doesn't hit you over the head with its own sweetness or hostility or mawkish sentiment, going down smoothly and pleasantly enough. (well maybe the big grand speech at the end overdoes it with the sentiment--but again its barbara streissand in the central role--if she can't get a nice somewhat big moment to play then what's the point in having her right?)
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