nicole calascibetta debuts for pop-break.com
Directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Dan Fogelman, Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand fuse their comedic talent together in The Guilt Trip. Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) finds his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand) to be a bit overbearing and although he loves his mother dearly, Andy wants to see her spend more time on her personal life. Along with the title of most beloved son, Andy is the inventor of “Scieoclean” a new natural, organic cleaner that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. With little interest from buyers, he plans a road trip to push his product onto the market. Right before he ventures off, Andy decides to bring his mother along in hopes to kill two birds with one stone, pitch his product to various companies while reuniting his mother with her old flame in San Francisco so she’ll have a companion.
Fletcher is known for comedy films such as 27 Dresses and The Proposal. I’ll admit I was wary about the plot of The Guilt Trip before I entered the theatre. A road trip involving an obnoxious mother and her son? This could easily skip over being funny and dive face first into annoying and predictable. However, I had nothing to worry about once Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand were on screen together. Five minutes didn’t go by where I didn’t instantly laugh from Rogen’s deprecating humor or Streisand’s relatable quirks. Their chemistry was a perfect match and their comedic timing hit the mark almost every time. I find it hard to believe anyone other than these two actors could have delivered these characters and carried the film so well.
While I don’t necessarily believe The Guilt Trip will win an Oscar anytime soon, it’s a good family film. Fogelman delivers witty dialogue and comical moments like when Joyce is listening to her book on tape Middlesex in the car and before the book is about to delve into an uncomfortable sex scene Andy quickly turns off the stereo. The film is only an hour and thirty-five minutes and Fletcher doesn’t drag anything on, it gets to the point and moves on to the next scene without draining the same joke. Streisand gives a hilarious performance and Seth Rogen proves he has natural comedic timing along with some serious acting chops. Both Andy and Joyce are likable characters and there’s even a cameo from Colin Hanks.
So if you’re wondering if it’s your typical road trip movie, where quirky situations arrive and patience is tested, it is. However, it’s also a film about family, love and perseverance. It can be a bit predictable and won’t go above and beyond your expectations but it won’t disappoint either. Overall, it’s a quality movie with decent production value and a good cast. Make time to see The Guilt Trip and you’ll be satisfied with plenty of enjoyable laughs.
Rating: 7 out of 10