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Streisand and Rogen Bring Considerable Comedy Chops to a Lightweight Road Trip Movie
Ed Uyeshima19 December 2012
Aside from her near-cameo appearances in two ensemble comedies, Barbra Streisand has not starred in a movie in sixteen long years, not since 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces" which she also directed. Her output as an actress has been meager since around 1980 when she started directing films, building houses and returning to the concert stage periodically, so it was with both great anticipation and some trepidation that I saw this light- hearted 2012 comedy. What a relief to find she hasn't missed a beat in her sharp comedy timing. I think she's terrific as Joyce Brewster, the energetically overbearing mother of Andy, an organic chemical engineer who long ago moved to California and has recently invented a cleaning solution he is pitching to various store chains headquartered across the country. He plans a weekend visit with Joyce in New Jersey, but upon an intriguing discovery about her past, he invites her on an eight-day cross-country road trip with him.

As directed by Anne Fletcher ("The Proposal") and written by Dan Fogelman (the underrated "Crazy Stupid Love") who based his script on his own late mother, the film is about how their two mismatched personalities unsurprisingly clash at every stop as their relationship twists and turns with each new humiliation for Andy and each new revelation for the both of them, a few of them quite poignant. The film is at its comedic best when she and co-star Seth Rogen as Andy volley back and forth with her well-meaning thoughts and antics at odds with his spiky annoyance at anything she says or does. Rogen plays against type as the coiled-up Andy since his stoner-dude personality has been the basis of much of his previous comedy. Here he needs to show some dramatic gravity (as he did earlier this year in "Take This Waltz") and again does surprisingly well when necessary. There is a confrontation scene between the two characters that I wish could have gone on a bit longer and deeper than it did, but he manages to bring a real edge to the film in ways I didn't quite expect from him.

Of course there are predictable comedy pieces that also work like a steak-eating contest in Texas where Joyce has to down a fifty-ounce piece of beef in an hour to avoid a $100 tab. There's also quite a supporting cast here, but like Streisand movies of yore, the familiar actors contribute moments that amount to nearly bit parts. Kathy Najimy and Miriam Margolyes are among Joyce's Weight Watchers friends in a quick dinner scene early in the story, while Adam Scott and Ari Graynor show up at the very end of the road trip in San Francisco. In between are appearances by Brett Cullen as a cowboy who becomes smitten with Joyce during the eating contest and Nora Dunn as an officious HSN TV hostess. But that's fine since Rogen really lets Streisand dominate the movie all the way from pushing off potential suitors at a mature singles mixer to getting into the wrong car at a mini-mart pit-stop to getting drunk in a motel bar to sharing her innocently ignorant perceptions of stereotypes. This is only her 19th film since her extraordinary debut in "Funny Girl" 44 years ago, reason enough to enjoy the warm, accomplished performance she gives here.
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Ignore the Commercials. See Film on it's own Merits
John Ferreira21 December 2012
The Paramount marketing department would have you think this film is a wacky laugh fest. Which is a pity, since more people would enjoy the film if their expectations were different. They go in thinking the film is one way. When in reality, it's a whole other thing. The film is much more touching, funny, and real. I cared about the two main characters, and how they interacted. I was interested in what was at stake for them. For me, the smaller moments of the film made it enjoyable. It was delightful to see Streisand and Rogen working off each other like they have known each other for years. Be sure to stay for the credits to see just how well they played off each other.
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I think the reviewers didn't watch it all the way through
bmh20105 May 2013
At the beginning of the movie I would agree with some of the sentiments of the reviewers (see the scathing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes), however I stuck with it and was rewarded.

The second half really picks up and everything comes to frankly a touching and satisfying conclusion with great performances.

Which just confirms that many reviewers must have skipped out after only watching about 30 minutes of the movie and reviewed it based on the first weakest segment.

As the movie progresses the performances, the chemistry between Rogan and Streisand, the story and the comedy takes off and it becomes the movie you hoped it would be. It really has a heart, you just need to be patient for it to come along. Hang in there ;-)

Filmmakers take note - you HAVE to grab your audience in the first 20-30 minutes, especially if some of them are jaded reviewers watching screener DVDs that they might just skip if they get the least bit bored and publish a scathing review as punishment.
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Not really that funny. 3/10
leonblackwood7 July 2013
Review: I didn't really like this movie that much because I didn't find it that funny. I found it very corny and the storyline was pretty straight forward, without much depth. The chemistry between Rogen & Streisand was quite good, but the script was weak and easily forgettable. By the end of the film, I was just glad that the whole journey was over because there was only so much that the director could have done with these characters. There are some parts that are quite emotional, but the film is just so average for actors that are so big I the movie world. Disappointing!

Round-Up: It seems like Seth Rogen is trying a different avenue in his career with this movie, but he still uses his wit in some parts. Streisand only comes out of the woodwork every now and again, but she should have let this movie pass. The film won't damage any of the actors careers, but they won't be remembered for it. Although its about a mother and sons relationship, it did seem more like a chick flick to me, which isn't all bad because they always make money.

Budget: $40million Worldwide Gross: $41million

I recommend this movie to people who there soppy comedy dramas about a mother and sons close relationship. 3/10
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Call your mama!
wilson trivino6 December 2012
Mama don't let your boys grow up to be cowboys or better yet organic chemist. In this fun tale you see Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) is on a mission to sell his discovered organic cleaning product and find a distributor. In a caring move he invites his mother Joyce Brewster (Barbra Streisand) to come along for the eight day cross country trip. Most movies feature two guys or girls in a crazy road trip but never a mother and son. Freud was right, we all have mother issues and Andy finally deals with his overbearing mother as he sets out to discover his own identity. This movie is fun, touching, and is above the bond between mother and son. In the preview I saw I took my own mother and she enjoyed it. In a special live simulcast with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen they took questions about the Road Trip. According to Streisand, she was pursued by director Ann Fletcher for the role. It was not until she read the script out loud with her own son that she fell in love with the role. Streisand did a phenomenal job and you get the feeling that the role is way below her pay grade. They did accommodate all her request. All the scenes were shot within forty five minutes of her house in Malibu, California and she did not even have to drive. According to the pop diva, she has not driven for over a decade. She was also asked if she would ever like to take a road trip with someone and she said Marlon Brando. She did take a day trip with him once to check out the desert wild flowers once and had fun. When asked if Babs had any resemblance with his real life mother, Rogen said that they are both strong Jewish women but that his mother resembled more a past character that Streisand played in Meet the Fockers. His mother is a Jewish hippie type of woman. The Guilt Trip opens December 19, perfect for the holiday season and a fun tale of love, joy, and celebrating life. In the end it will make you appreciate your mother and the characters discovered that they were more alike than different.
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The next best thing to actually taking your mum on a road trip
Karl Self21 April 2013
Nice movie with strong, likable actors. I'd call it a holistic movie, it's so complete. The only thing missing from the movie is the point. Why on earth would I want to see another middle-aged man take his dear mom on a road trip? Marveling at why I don't take my mum on a lengthy cross-country trip in an uncomfortably small car hasn't really kept me awake at night. I'm not surprised that it might get awkward. Coz it's her motherly duty to make me feel awkward. My job is to stay the feck clear of her. That's called son-mom-dynamics. Unlike Andy, I did study on the other end of the country to get as far away as possible from my parentals. The quality of the institution had nothing whatsoever to do with it. If I'd had the choice to either study brain surgery in my mum's basement or to attend the Compton Council College for assistant janitors on the other coast, my job would have been as clear as a spring day in the Mohave. That's maybe not very nice, but it sure is healthy.

Also, the movie is predictable. When the Southron gentleman introduces himself to Joyce, we KNOW she won't get to meet her puppy love object in Frisco. And I was waiting all through the movie for Andy to finally drink his cleanser, knowing that this would be presented in the movie as a brilliant selling point, which it isn't.
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A second rate movie despite the stellar cast
cinematic_aficionado9 March 2013
How is it possible that when you put together an esteemed actress with the ambassador of a new generation comedy that you get a second rate movie? For starters this film started off as a wannabe comedy. It was as if the cast were trying their hardest to make us laugh but it just did not work. The obsessive neurotic mother with the geeky kind of son was somewhat off for laughs.

Then the conversation developed, the story unfolded but despite the charm and warmth it conveyed as well as being engaging, it never really went beyond making the audience smile, so the supposed comedy never happened which is a shame as the ingredients were there.
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Enjoyable and real
eacoy5112 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Is it funny? Yes, if you can laugh at yourself.

Critics are flat wrong to give this film a bad review. The touching story tells about the adult relationship - at least its improvement - between a mother and son. Actually a lot of it reminded me of my daughter and me. "No, Mom, I do not want to join you in pilates."

The mother's out-of-control phone call frequency and tendency to unrealistically reassure her son of success are measured out between restrained and very real grinding gears as they try to share time together. My least favorite bit was the $100 meal, but it set up nicely her last phone call. Even as they said goodbye at the airport, they mistimed their interactions spot on. They separated with an improved mother-son bond. Delightful.

Not a slapstick comedy. I did find specific scenes side-hugging hilarious, mostly because I could see myself and my children splashed incongruently across the scene. Where you laugh will be as individual as you are as a viewer.
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More depressing than funny
bmcassagne13 June 2013
They managed to make Seth Roegan rude and annoying. Not an easy task. Most of his movies are great. Watching him verbally abuse his mom for 90 min and fumble through his meetings was simply unpleasant. He constantly makes bad decisions and says the wrong things in ways that just aren't funny. I guess there are people really like this but I don't want to watch a movie about them.

The humor was rarely clever or unpredictable. There are very few movies I would rate less than 5 but this one makes the list. Maybe it's more geared toward a female audience.

Towards the end it gets a little better but not enough to make up for the rest of the movie.
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Sit this one out
troy-manatunga10 June 2013
Whilst STEP-UP brought her to the wide screen and showed her the true temptations of success, director Anne Fletcher has ever since attempted again and again to reach the same heights in her directing career. One must agree that her determination is admirable and that her talent in directing must not be under estimated. THE PROPOSAL and 27 DRESSES were decent box office hits which favored me in the choice of making her most recent feat THE GUILT TRIP starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen my weekend movie choice.

Everyone makes bad choices and I hope my readers would make a better choice following this review.

Whenever a production fails we tend look hard into our own selves and our opinions to find out what went wrong in our own paradigms. In my cross hair I have now four names; Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Anne Fletcher and writer Dan Fogelman. The talents and the potential of Streisand and Rogen will not be questioned and their weak performances in THE GUILT TRIP are merely chalked as a result of their hands been tied with a limited script or restricted direction. Rogen as always puts up his dismissal attitude to every situation to work. As always he gets away with it. However I am not convinced that Rogen did keep his best foot forward when settling into his character of Andrew. Personally Jason Bateman would have been better fit in this instance. As for Barbra Streisand she does the best she could and yet failed to draw out one single chuckle out during the 95 minutes.

Dan Fogelman did a good job with his script CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE however he drops the ball with THE GUILT TRIP. This draws all fire in his direction and I think that's not too fair either. Fogelman clearly does know the ropes of his business. In fact the plot of the movie is very "home-movie" like. While the writing of the characters feels rushed the comedy indeed is entirely lost. But still Anne Fletcher could have done more to add more essence to the obvious bland production. Maybe next time?

Andrew Brewster is an inventor of some sort who is taking a road trip trying to sell his new line of cleaning detergent. Over and Over again Andy has been unsuccessful so far. His takes his final leap of faith with his mom by his side riding all the way across the United States in an eco friendly Chevy.

A confusing plot, under performed by the stars and ignorant direction.

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If Streisand and Rogen Are Your Stars, Do You Really Need a Plot?
bbrebozo27 December 2012
Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen are a great comedy team. In fact, the best part of Guilt Trip is when the credits are rolling at the end, and there are several scenes that the two of them apparently improvised during the filming. If the whole movie had been as entertaining as those outtakes, I would have given it a "10."

Unfortunately, the makers of Guilt Trip appear to believe that a movie requires a plot, and sadly, this one was clunky. For a comedy film to work, you either have to completely put reality aside (Blazing Saddles or Rocky Horror Picture Show), or somehow believe an unbelievable story (Airplane or the Blues Brothers). This film didn't fall into either category. The plot just wasn't strong enough to support the premise that any son would be crazy enough to take his mother on a long business trip with him, and there was no reason why he kept bringing her to all his business appointments. And his mother's nutty revealing of her deepest family secret, and her insane baby-naming system, were clearly tossed in just to provide somewhere for this film to go.

Don't get me wrong. I'd really like Streisand and Rogen to do another road trip together. But next time, let's just say that space aliens abducted them and forced them to travel together. And let both of the stars ad lib their way through the adventure. I'd pay to see that one.
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A Comedy Without Humour
Bharat Samra20 March 2013
When the previews before the main feature show about as much promise as a toddler would in a university seminar, your hopes for what you paid for on your trip to the cinema certainly diminish. The Guilt Trip is a high-concept film that revolves around a mother named Joyce (Barbra Streisand) and her son Andy (Seth Rogen) as they embark on a (you guessed it!) road trip across the US for Andy's career, and throw some romance in there too for no apparent reason.

It's never a good sign if you leave a supposed 'comedy' film being able to count the number of times you laughed with just one hand (I tallied three). The first hour or so of The Guilt Trip just continues to play off of the same non developing character traits and one archetypal joke. Joyce is the stereotypical, overly-attached mother whose incessant nagging and unwanted presence in her son's life is a fact oblivious to her. The film continues to regurgitate this one aspect of their relationship, and in no way deals with it with any style or substance.

It's as if screenwriter Dan Fogelman conjured up a single sentence for the bond between the two protagonists, then when he could write no more, just decided to rearrange the words of this sentence, hoping nobody would ever notice. The writer's intentions were clearly to be annoying but funny, but instead it is annoyingly unfunny just the way that this mother and son interact. It honestly felt as if my brain cells were being violated by hearing the same joke over and over again.

To be more optimistic, The Guilt Trip certainly leaves its worst qualities in the first half of the film. Midway through their trip, they refuel and begin to gain some momentum that makes the 95 minute journey considerably more tolerable, and my desire to punch the unlikable characters did in fact decline. The humour begins to become less one- dimensional but still can only manage to extract a minute amount of audience laughter. Nonetheless, this is most definitely what the picture needed following its motionless first half; the successor provides more instances of cheap amusement that keep you engaged enough to appreciate the minor modest revitalisation in cinematic quality. One way to have fun throughout The Guilt Trip is to try and guess the punch line of every joke during the time that the set up is being told. This is probably the only feeling of accomplishment one could obtain from their time experiencing the film.

The Guilt Trip is not a dreadful film by any means, but nor is it a good one. This is easily the least entertaining and most forgettable Seth Rogen film that his catalogue of comedies has to offer. It's predictable, it's a comedy without humour and the only thing that could make some of jokes more awkward (not in a good sense) would be if Barbra Streisand's character was sitting beside you, behaving in her annoying role. The only reason I would have for recommending you devote your time and money to this 'comedy' would be if you desire to occupy some time and nothing else appeals to you. Even then, I would suggest waiting until a Wednesday to use your Orange code and throw in your student card for extra discount, as full admission price would almost unquestionably make you feel a sense of guilt for making the trip after you leave the cinema screen.
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jlj9675-12 January 2013
I looked forward to this film, thinking it would be a hilarious showcase of not only Streisand's talents but an expose of the difficult relationships between mothers and grown sons. I got neither. It was boring just a few minutes into it. I felt Mr. Rogen's acting was plausible and done well. However, hers was lackluster and not up to her usual standards. There were very few laughs at all. The difficulties of the relationship were not highlighted very much either. Some of the dialog was nonsensical to say the least. I also thought it ridiculous to have her considering 50 year-olds for dating and trying to convince us she was under 60; usually it's the other way around. All in all I was very disappointed in this movie and had to concur with another woman leaving the theater at the same time when she said "what a waste of time!"
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Outtakes were funniest parts of the movie
ssaftler25 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
At the beginning of the movie, Seth Rogen uses the line "Bad Chemistry Alert" line in his presentation. I think he should have said "Bad Movie Alert" instead. The movie was cliché, cloying, and just plain idiotic from start to finish. Thank goodness we saw it on the super matinée pricing, about half the normal weekend price.

I have to wonder how much money Streisand owes and to whom. So far this year, we have been subjected to her 2012 Farewell Tour, which I understand had tickets STARTING at $100 in the SF area. The newspaper reviews made it sound like you got about 3 or 4 songs from Barbra and the rest was from the (admittedly good) warm-up group "Il Volo". Now along comes this poor excuse for a comedy, which our local theater on opening weekend had the good sense to relegate to the smallest screen in the building, and that was half full.

The two best parts of this movie were its brevity (90 minutes or so long) and some of the outtakes at the end were worth a chuckle.
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A comedy to make YOU feel guilty.
jdesando28 December 2012
"You want to drive cross-country in a car with me?" Joyce Brewster (Barbra Streisand)

Trust me –you don't want to take this trip. The problem with The Guilt Trip is that most of the lame comedy takes place in a subcompact car with two not very interesting characters, a Jewish mother, Joyce (Streisand), and her son, Andrew (Seth Rogen). You will want to get out as soon as you can, and you will feel guilt for wasting 95 minutes.

Not that more of that clichéd Jewish guilt wouldn't have been welcomed after the first act's slow setup (Andy asking mom to join him on a trip out West). Not even those stops along the way would relieve your boredom, given the pedestrian set pieces in a strip bar, a steak house, and a casino, among other seemingly random choices except that inventor Andrew visits those cities to hawk his edible cleaning product.

You can amuse yourself by counting the number of product placements ("They know me at The Gap!"), some from K Mart, Costco, Budget Rental Cars, and other businesses. For those companies, their products come off very well from Andrew's tepid pitch. Only when he finds his selling voice, does the film come alive and Rogen awakens from a sleepy first hour for him.

Making comedies is a Las Vegas gamble: Witness the uneven but far more amusing This is 40, a Judd Apatow production that at least tries to be witty about social issues for aging youngsters. The Guilt Trip tries one bit—the overbearing Jewish mother and wimpy son—and doesn't get it right (Whatever happened to that Oriental girl?").

Now I'm feeling guilty.
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Enjoyable film, Streisand carries it
avenuesf21 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Like another reviewer here, I'm also perplexed why people have given this such negative reviews. As a kid my parents took me with them to see "Funny Girl" and even at that young age I was impressed by Barbra Streisand; however, as her career progressed I became less enamored of her and found most of her performances to be mechanical and pretty narcissistic. When she directed herself, camera angles always seemed to be engineered to show only one side of her face, and she really didn't seem to be able to concentrate fully enough to be able to do any serious acting (as an example, her crying scene in "The Way We Were" always embarrassed me, it seemed so forced and artificial).

"The Guilt Trip" is a small, enjoyable comedy that wasn't meant to be side-splittingly funny. The refreshing thing, though, is that Sreisand carries the film, and she's relaxed, confident, totally unself-conscious, and a very good actress. There's a quick shot at the end of the film where she looks as though she's about to become tearful, and it seemed totally authentic and I actually found myself choking up for a second. Somehow the last few years seem to have made her into a very different person, and her the character she created came across to me as a very likable individual. Sure, parts of the script reminded me of a t.v. sitcom, but they weren't excruciatingly bad (I'd like to have seen more of an explanation as to why the mother became so disappointed upon learning why her son had arranged the final trip to San Francisco; it didn't make total sense to me.) I'm disappointed this film didn't last longer than it did when it was released; it deserved a better run.
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fantastic movie.
derekp195 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot understand why this movie is being so lambasted,

I laughed and cried, the acting was so true to life, I saw my own mother in this and also myself, it is a rare treat to have an honest movie with real characters and a real sense of heart, Go see and ignore the bad reviews, Ms Streisand gave a very real performance and I am surprised she was not nominated for a Golden Globe, she should have been. If you pay attention you would notice the subtleties in her expressions. I can honestly say that the end had me sobbing. I never saw it coming. OK so maybe I am old fashioned but it was a real treat to be so involved in a movie, OK so it is not a major blockbuster, but not everyone wants to see special effects and science fiction.
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Disappointing and Flat, if sweet-hearted with some funny subtle moments
SourGreenapple4223 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw previews for "The Guilt Trip", I actually got pretty excited for it. I usually enjoy road trip movies when they're done well, and I thought the concept of an overbearing Jewish Mother embarrassing her son throughout had the potential to be very humorous and relatable, especially with Rogen and Streisand in the very appropriate roles. I found the preview to be very funny too. Unfortunately, they pretty much used up most of the funny moments in the preview- it's not actually that spot-on witty for the whole hour and a half.

The main problem with the movie, despite it's potential, is it's very flat and underwhelming. The dynamic of Rogen being annoyed by his nagging mother Streisand is established in the very beginning, and is just repeated and repeated for an hour and a half with little to no progression for nearly the whole film. The road trip scenes are all under 10 minutes long, with Rogen and Streisand moving from place to place, with no extended interaction with characters or people in these brief settings- and as a result nothing really spectacularly funny, interesting or memorable happens.

Like for example, in a roughly 3-5 minute scene where Rogen's car breaks down and they go to a strip club, despite the potential- there is hardly anything that happens. There is a somewhat humorous awkward discussion of Rogen's Penis in public for a short bit, and then a couple minutes later a stripper fixes their car and they are off. They could have done so much more with that situation! True the movie is definitely not an outrageous gross out comedy, which is fine, I actually respected it for that- but it almost feels TOO low key, like more situations should be arising for what the concept calls for. Even Rogen, despite playing the character of Andy well, lacks his typical ad-lib/pop culture/stoner insight banter that you would see in any Apatow endeavor. I was looking for some more "Rogen rants" towards his mother, but his role was surprisingly restrained and serious.

Sometimes the dynamic does kind of work into funny moments, such as many of Rogen's lines and reactions to Barbara- some of their smaller interactions reminded how I act with my own parents and were relatable. There is also a sweet sincerity to the movie, despite the flatness of the actual plot you do feel some care for the characters. There is a scene where Rogen walks in on Streisand fallen asleep to baby videos, where she tells him how much she loves him and he means to her. It is actually really touching, you almost feel sorry for Streisand. Despite her nagging attitude you can see she is a very caring and loving mother who means well.

With sincere performances and such potential, you really get the feel at the end of the movie they should have pushed it further. It's a movie that definitely has heart, some humor, and potential, but really ends up unsatisfying. It's a bit of a shame. Not a terrible movie to watch with your mother on netflix, but definitely not worth the money or theater trip in my opinion.
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Not a very fun road trip
estebangonzalez1023 April 2013
¨If all the kids in the world were lined up and I was to pick one kid for myself Andy, it will always be you.¨

The Guilt Trip had several things going for it considering it was directed by Anne Fletcher who in my opinion has made some decent films like The Proposal, 27 Dresses, and Step Up. They may not have received a lot of love from the critics, but I appreciated those films, and especially liked The Proposal. The script was written by Dan Fogelman, who in 2011 wrote Crazy Stupid Love, a movie which was in my top 20 films of the year list. And to top it all off the film was teaming up the always hilarious Seth Rogen with the beloved Barba Streisand. Despite being really famous, Streisand hasn't made many films recently so fans were really looking forward to this film. I was very disappointed with The Guilt Trip because it was pretty predictable and plain. This road trip movie between a mother and a son won't appeal to a broad audience, especially considering that Rogen plays a much more serious and restrained role than he usually does. I can only imagine an older target audience enjoying this film, and Streisand fans will be pleased. She gives a strong performance, and Rogen does a decent job as well, but in my opinion the script was just too weak and it really hurt the movie. This is one of those movies that everyone will forget about by the end of the month.

Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen), has just invented a safe cleaning product, but is having a lot of issues trying to pitch it to important sales companies. He may have invented an innovative product, but he really doesn't know how to market it. His mother, Joyce (Barbra Streisand), constantly calls him and tries to keep up with him although he gets a little annoyed by her involvement in his life. When he discovers that his widowed mother had a past lover he decides it would be a good idea to hook her up with him in order to get her less involved in his own life. He doesn't tell her this of course, but brings up the idea that they should take an 8 day road trip together across the United States while he meets up with different companies to sell his product. Along the way they experience new things and meet some interesting people.

The Guilt Trip isn't a laugh out loud comedy, instead it tried to be a more serious and dramatic film building on a mother and son relationship. It has its touching moments, but for the most part the film is very predictable and seems to be heading nowhere. A more mature audience might enjoy this film, but it is being pitched as a comedy which it really isn't. Don't get me wrong, the film has several funny moments, but it isn't your typical buddy comedy. Streisand and Rogen give strong performances, but it's not enough to save the film. I prefer Rogen when he plays his usual wacky character, but here he still manages to deliver a credible performance and has great chemistry with Streisand. At the end the film is about these two people trying to connect with each other and build on their relationship. As usual a road trip seems to be the best way for these two people to get over their differences and fix their problems. This could have been a much better film if the script was better, but I was disappointed. Don't go see this film unless you are a Barbra Streisand fan
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Road Trip on the Skids
Catt Jones20 December 2012
This is one of those films where I really don't have a lot to say. Basically the film is about a mother and son on a road trip to try and sell a newly invented product. There were no surprises to be had in this film and it turned out to be pretty corny, although I do think that there is a demographic that will enjoy it. Barbara Streisand (Joyce Brewster) is the over-bearing mother who totally dotes on her son. If I had a mother like her, she would absolutely drive me crazy. There were times during the film that I just kept thinking to myself, I wish she would just shut up. I am not sure if this was a tough script for Barbara to learn, but I do know that there was a lot of it. There is one scene in the film that involves Barbara that is just so absurd and really unbelievable that it had me shaking my head. Seth Rogan (Andrew Brewster) was the typical son that is generally embarrassed by his mother's behavior. He did have some funny moments, but not enough to make me laugh out loud (although there were other folks in the audience that did). Most of the parts that did get a chuckle were in the trailer, so there was really nothing new to laugh at. I just felt like I was watching reality television about a Jewish mother and son on vacation. I do have to say that I think Barbara and Seth both nailed their characters pretty well, I just don't think that they had a whole lot of depth to them. There really aren't any other roles to talk about since the other actors were only on screen for a few minutes. The only other actor that I really recognized was Kathy Najimy (Gayle) who was one of Barbara's friends in the film. I have to say that I do support female directors whenever possible, but I think that choreographer turned director, Anne Fletcher is probably better at putting together dance numbers then directing. I don't want to be too hard on her since this film is her directing debut, so hopefully she will get better at it. I didn't hate the film and like I said before there is definitely a demographic for it. All that being said, I am giving this film an amber light.
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Mother's Day Movie released inexplicably during Xmas
hannsw21 December 2012
Here are a few lessons that nobody learned folks:

1) What's Up Doc, For Pete's Sake were commercially successful Streisand comedies that had a host of wacky character actors bouncing off Barbra's leading lady performance. Bogdonavich especially knew what he was doing. Even in musicals, Barbra was criticized for being too sane as Dolly Levi. Didn't bother me, but she always bases her characters in reality. Todays critics and audiences seem to want their comedies and characters over the top.

2) Several critics have complained about seeing the diva brought down to earth. Barbra did that before in the commercially unsuccessful, Up the Sandbox. That film has aged well and I suspect this one will too.

3) Whose brilliant idea was it to have Barbra talk freely after a screening of the movie for critics where she could carry on like she was Liz Taylor forcing them to move Vegas to Paris for The Only Game In Town? Yes, in this respect Barbra is a diva and she should have been protected by the studio in more carefully scripted publicity events because I believe that some of these comments have caused a backlash.

4) Greed. Someone thought this would clean up at Christmas. But it is the wrong time for this film. It cried out for a Mother's Day opening.

5) The elephant in the room is the Jewish leads. There is tremendous antisemitism in this country now. Neil Simon flopped on Broadway several seasons ago. That audience is just not what it used to be. The many anti-semitic posts on the internet about this film have sounded more 1942 than 2012. Scary.

The Guilt Trip is a sweet story with humorous and touching moments. Barbra gives a lovely performance. I hope it finds its true audience.
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enjoyably sweet, surprisingly low key film, makes the most of the chemistry between its two stars even tho its a little flat in places
Matthew Stechel20 January 2013
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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Babs disses her cult.
st-shot2 September 2013
Streisand is back and Seth has her and he can keep her. In her first lead role in over 15 years the one time super star of stage, screen and TV drowsily sleepwalks through this coma inducing comedy with another ball of fire Seth Rogen. The only guilt in this turkey is these two accepting paychecks under false pretense.

Glum Andy Brewster is trying to get his career untracked by heading west with an invention of his. He drops by to say so long to his to mom but instead decides to take her along. Will they bond, will they have hilarious and suspenseful adventure together? Who cares since both leads keep hitting the snooze button throughout.

There is not an ounce of energy to be found in this torpid clunker and even less to laugh at. Streisand's performance is an insult to her healthy fan base. It is a tired non-performance of an icon whose cliché comedy style was anachronistic even in her prime and instead of the zany energy of What's Up Doc? we have an aged treasure who never grew as an actress, just got old and the respect of her loyal cult. Her valium paced performance doesn't deserve it. Rogen's performances are all slacker by nature and here he drones along with BS attempting to create chemistry by exchanging looks of pity and pain between each other.

Directed by mundane comedy director and choreographer Ann Fletcher one can understand the need for a dance instructor since from the looks of it she had to dance around the great prima donna getting her to act, the results being atrocious.

Postscript: Displaying a classic entitled arrogance diva Streisand had her agent place an add in Variety humbly thanking the Golden Globes for her acting award nomination for Guilt Trip. The only problem is she did not receive one.
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I'm not ashamed you folks, I loved this movie
Dragoneyed36326 June 2013
The Guilt Trip looked like one of those very fun, lighthearted movies. Seth Rogen is one of my favorite actors, and personally I have enjoyed Barbra for her music or films at some point or another. It starts off a little cliché, and there's not many really hilarious moments, but from the minute mark of when we get to the main story and the road trip sets off the film is out to capture your heart. Streisand comes across as a caring mom without being too overbearing or annoying and it really hits home with a lot of male audience members who are mama's boys.

Rogen feels out of place at times, but ultimately comes into his own and makes the character. There are some memorable scenes, and overall it just sets out to be what it is and nothing more. Emotional in the end, I was almost in tears, and that's what a film is supposed to do; capture your attention and entertain to the very soul. Give it a go for anyone who has the time for a little heartfelt gem like this in a nowadays diminishing substance value and more style oriented blockbuster fiasco.
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Better than expected family-based comedy
zhamilton0510 June 2013
If you liked Due Date or Wild Hogs, then The Guilt Trip isn't for you. Those movies were broad and inconsistent, with a few funny moments scattered across forced schmaltz or ridiculous crude gags.

If you liked something like Dan in Real Life, than get in the car with Rogen and Streisand. Formulaic? Mostly, but the plot gives enough curveballs (especially at the end) to be its own animal. The chemistry between mother and son is touching, humorous, and believable. Both characters grew and developed throughout their road trip in a way that didn't seem contrived, but rather genuine.

No need to feel guilty for liking The Guilt Trip, even if most critics didn't.
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