No one needs to be guilted into seeing The Guilt Trip. The Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand-starring comedy vehicle follows the mother-son tandem as they head out on a cross country car ride. The first Streisand movie in years is a welcome surprise.
The road trip comedy is a well-traveled avenue and it has never felt fresher than with Rogen and Streisand at the wheel, as so brilliantly teased in The Guilt Trip trailer. The pair could not have been better cast. Their comic chemistry is heartwarming while still hilarious.
Andy (Rogen) is a chemist who believes he has created an environmentally friendly, all-natural cleaning product. He flies back east from his West Coast home in order to rent a car and drive cross country hitting major buyers along the way in hopes of selling the next big thing. First off... he has to visit his mother. When he arrives, immediately the audience is clued into the relationship between Rogen and Streisand.
First Fletcher gives us a series of phone messages back and forth, mostly from mom, and we know this lady. If she isn't representative of your own mother, you know someone whose mother is Streisand's Joyce.
She greets him at the airport and futzes over his blazer, that he had on purpose left the tag on with the intention to return the expensive coat when his business trip was over. Mom is impressed with the jacket, opens it up and realizes the tag is still there. "You left the tag on," she says as she tears it off. In a matter of minutes, the cast and filmmakers have captured their relationship without a single cliche.
Andy gets a crazy idea and in a fit of well-meaning intentions, invites his mother on the trip.
The actress could have crafted a maternal character that was over the top and even shrill, but she is all about love -- like in this The Guilt Trip clip. And Rogen may have chosen a route with his Andy as someone who was so tired of his mother's opinion and care that it came off as mean. But it is not the case. These two may have their differences, but that is what fuels the comedy. And with everything they do to and say to each other, there still lays a love at the heart.
Our The Guilt Trip review has to finish with the fact that Anne Fletcher, who most recently gave us the Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock-starring film, you know... the one with all The Proposal quotes you'll never forget, could not have been a better choice to helm the movie. Her expert hand gets the best out of her actors in a way that both serves her performers' characterization and the story. Her movie could have drifted into areas that felt like a son breaking free of his mother tale.
Instead, when leaving the theater, the need to call your mother and hear her voice will be immense.
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