Guilty Pleasures – A review of the Guilt Trip

Seth Rogan and Barbra Steisand star in the Guilt Trip, the story of a mother and her son on a cross country journey.
Seth Rogan and Barbra Steisand star in the Guilt Trip, the story of a mother and her son on a cross country journey.
4 stars for Safe Haven

Summary: A man taking a road trip across country with his neurotic mother may sound like a tedious journey, but it’s actually rather fun.

Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand are probably two of my least favorite actors in Hollywood. But here, the material they have to work with actually managed to endear both actors to me.

Rogan is a chemist-turned-entrepreneur who develops an environmentally friendly cleaner and decides to travel across the country to market it to major retailers.

He decides to take his mother along for the ride when he finds out that the former love of her life is in San Francisco. In his mind, he thinks, maybe rekindling that relationship will have her doting a little less on his life. It’s a noble quest…but then again, not everything can turn out quite the way he thinks it will.

Rogan’s charm is his ability to be an annoying schleb trying to huckster his product without a clue of how to sell. His corporate visits end up with him receiving the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” boot on a routine basis.

And his mother isn’t helping to brighten the mood. Her antics and shenanigans serve to grate his nerves to the point where he can’t wait for the trip to end.

But along the way, we see the bonding too. Mother and son have obviously different views on life and they rub off well on each other. I’m almost looking forward to a sequel to see what happens after the trip.

Streisand is as neurotic as ever with her portrayal of the widowed housefrau whose sole glory is relating the triumphs and downfalls of her son to her friends. She even takes it upon herself to reunite him with his former girlfriend who is now married and pregnant. Talk about those uncomfortable situations. This movie is filled with them.

But at the root of everything is a charming pathos that can’t be forgotten or ignored. The two characters obviously care for one another and just want the best for each other. Mom’s coaching and suggestions actually generate some true salesmanship in her son.

One of the funniest scenes, though, ensues when mom decides to undertake the challenge of eating a five pound steak in order to garner a free meal. The lengths that she goes through to consume the enormous piece of meat is priceless.

The Guilt Trip will never go down in Hollywood history as a classic comedy, by any means, but it is worth an afternoon of entertainment. I give it 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.

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