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The Guilt Trip review

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MOTHER SON TRIP Barbra Streisand headlines her first movie since 1996's The Mirror Has Two Faces
Sam Emerson

The Guilt Trip

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
96 minutes
Wide Release Date:
12/19/12
performer:
Seth Rogen, Yvonne Strahovski, Barbra Streisand
director:
Anne Fletcher
distributor:
Paramount Pictures
genre:
Comedy

We gave it a B-

In the you-already-know-if-this-movie-is-for-you comedy The Guilt Trip, Andy (Seth Rogen) is a romantically challenged 30ish inventor of an eco-friendly cleaning fluid who takes his long-widowed mother, Joyce (Barbra Streisand), on a cross-country car trip during which he attempts to pitch his product and she attempts to eat him. Well, okay, not exactly eat him, but certainly chew at him, smother him, baby him, and generally enact an encyclopedia of neurotic behaviors that have come to represent a devouring, guilt-inducing Jewish mother in broad comedies such as this one, never mind that there is no factual confirmation that Joyce is a certified Jewish mother.

The movie is one big feh. The ”action” is a collection of pit-stop-to-pit-stop set pieces (a cheap motel, the Grand Canyon, a Vegas casino) interspersed with mother-and-son-in-a-car scenes. Rogen emits his instantly recognizable hiccup cackle of a laugh and sucks his lip a lot in the manner of a grown man who would, if he weren’t behind the wheel, roll his eyes back in his head at his mother’s nudnik noodginess. But The Guilt Trip is not about Rogen, bubbeleh. Streisand is her own once-in-a-lifetime trip, looking gawjuss with that divine voice and those killer fingernails, and the sight of the lady scarfing down four pounds of beef at a Texas steak joint is one a Streisand lover can now cross off her bucket list. B-