The Guilt Trip
Heartfelt mother-son road trip movie starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen
Teaming Barbra Streisand with Seth Rogen promises a road trip worth avoiding; setting the diva who produced and starred in a slew of vanity projects including The Prince of Tides and The Mirror As Two Faces opposite the shambolic stoner from Knocked Up sounds like a mismatched marriage made in hell. But The Guilt Trip isn’t about a marriage, it’s about a mother-son relationship, and despite the odds, both stars strike a few sparks in Anne Fletcher’s slight comedy.
An inventor who has created an environmentally sound cleaning fluid, Andy Brewster (Rogen) is planning a selling tour of prospective buyers, only to be moved by the unexpected revelation that his widowed mother Joyce (Streisand) named him after her first love, who worked for a company in San Francisco. Andy covertly adds an extra stop to his road trip, and invites his mother to join him on the journey, leading to bickering, awkward situations and eventual understanding in the patented style of John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
The two stars may be generations apart, but Cars scribe Dan Fogelman’s script, apparently based on a real trip he took with his mother, makes good use of this, generating gentle fun from the way she admonishes and scolds him out of genuine love. The results are mild but not unpleasing; Rogen restrains his usual scatological outpourings to play a buttoned-down character not unlike the one featured in Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, while Streisand also holds back on the sauce that made her Meet The Fockers character so painful to watch.
Despite potential for cross-generational appeal, The Guilt Trip has failed to find much of an audience, and yet it offers some simple pleasures; such character-driven humour feels heartfelt rather than mean-spirited
General release from Fri 8 Mar.