The Guilt Trip
Running Time: 95 minutes
Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen
Directed By: Anne Fletcher
Rating: 2 out of 10
A man and his mother go on a road trip across the States.
I never thought I would find another character that was more annoying than Marcia Gay Harden’s from The Mist. Please stand up and take a bow Barbra Streisand, as you now have that dubious achievement to accept. The Guilt Trip is the story of Andy Brewster. He is going on a cross country road trip to sell a cleaning supply that he has invented. His mother travels with him to keep him company.
If you go into this thinking that this a comedy, then you are going to be greatly disappointed. However, if you go into this thinking that it is a touching drama, well, you will still be greatly disappointed. The film starts out and we meet Andy as he tries to peddle his eco-friendly cleaning supply. He is kind of geeky and a little bit awkward, but a guy who is easy to watch. We are then introduced to his mother (Joyce) through hundreds of obnoxious voice mails that she leaves on Andy’s phone. This doesn’t bode well for the film as I instantly hated Joyce from these messages. Wait until you actually get to meet her though, as you are truly up for something special. After some tedious conversations between Andy and his mother, they head out for one of the most depressing road trip movies that I can ever recall. The first half of the movie can be summed up thusly, JOYCE IS UBER ANNOYING! She doesn’t shut the F up for the entire film. “Why are you single? I have a coupon. Are you drinking lots water? I have a book on tape. Why are you single? Are you drinking lots of water? We don’t need an SUV. We can share a room. Why are you single? Are you drinking lots of water? Your hair is messy.” This pithy dialogue goes on and on and on. Maybe I am being so harsh on this film because I don’t believe in unconditional love when it comes to family. If I don’t like you, I simply won’t talk to you even if we are related. I am more inclined to believe that this film is simply awful. I cannot believe someone can relate to this film because Joyce is easily the most overbearing mother ever. If you can relate to this film then I just feel sorry for you, truly I do.
Andy is played by Seth Rogen. Why would he even do this sort of film? I am not sure if Rogen lost a bet or if he owed someone a favor, but he just seems lost in this. It is not just him being unfunny; he doesn’t look like he wants to even be on screen. Barbra Streisand plays Joyce. All I will say is she is the worst character ever. She played it well, but I simply loathed everything about her. Not only did I care less if Andy and Joyce bonded on this trip, I wanted them to get into a horrendous car crash so Joyce would stop talking. Truly awful characters played with little thought to pleasing the viewer.
As the film carries on it never really gets any better. Andy meets with various buyers from different companies as they cross the states. Of course, Joyce is always there telling Andy what to do, how to sell, and what to wear. When Andy is not trying to sell his invented cleaning supply, they are going to random venues and getting into trouble together. Joyce drinks, gambles, gorges herself on food, and keeps offering her 2 cents worth. Andy sleeps, worries about money, and practices his selling techniques. No matter what the scenario, the film just feels wrong. A surprising heartfelt ending is not enough to save this film as it was too little and WAY too late. In conclusion, I smiled a couple of times but never laughed. Barbra Streisand’s character was so repugnant to me that this film could not have worked with her in it. The road trip scenario has been done dozens of times on film, and this may be the worst of the bunch. This film was wretched from the start, and to the people who say this film is touching, you are wrong.
Director Anne Fletcher put together a film that is truly perplexing. If this is supposed to be comedy, then this is the weakest form of humor there is. If this is supposed to be a drama, then the characters are so repulsive that it is impossible to buy into. Stupid scenarios and an overall tone of depression makes this film impossible to enjoy. When you make a film and Seth Rogen cannot make me laugh, then you know you have failed.
I cannot recommend this film and please don’t let anyone guilt you into seeing it.
T Factor + If you like your comedies without crass or vulgar humor then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like Barbra Streisand then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Identity Thief, Parental Guidance.