The Guilt Trip (2012) Directed by Anne Fletcher. Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen and Julene Renee-Preciado. IMDB says: “As inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, a quick stop at his mom’s house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.”
I had my hopes up when I saw the trailer for this movie. What could go wrong with a comedy starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand? What could go wrong with a comedy written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and directed by Anne Fletcher (Step Up, The Proposal, 27 Dresses)? Well, nothing went wrong, but the film came up short on missed opportunities and felt bland. There were jokes peppered in and out that are chuckle worthy, but the hearty laughs only come at the end when two major set-ups finally pay off. But even then, those hearty laughs feel short-lived. Seth Rogen is Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand delivered some great lines but really forced her role as the overprotective mother. They jump from city to city on their crossroad adventure as Andy (Seth Rogen) tries to sell his cleaning product to companies and help his mother Joyce (Streisand) reconnect in the dating world. At times it feels like a typical road comedy and other times it feels too dramatic. Even with small roles from Colin Hanks, Adam Scott, and Ari Graynor, the humor is missing or isn’t strong enough.
The film relies a little too much on green screen effects to give the allusion of driving down the highway or even the fact that they are at the Grand Canyon. Once in a while is fine, but this film soaks it up and does a semi-decent job of making the movie magic feel real. The soundtrack is okay, but a majority of the car ride is filled with dialogue or a fictitious (sometimes humorous) book on tape about the life of a transgender person. The film comes across much tamer than what I expected but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. It’s more of a Momedy; A comedy you can watch with your mother or grandmother without them getting offended. Although Grandma might get a little shock when Streisand drops some bombs. See this in theaters at your own risk, or play it safe and see this when it hits Netflix or VOD. But don’t go out of your way.