The Guilt Trip **




Run time: 95 mins                Cert: 12A


Synopsis: Organic chemist Andy (Seth Rogen) goes on a tour to promote his new product and is joined by his irritating widowed mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand). 


The film begins with chemist Andy (Seth Rogen) flying from California back to the East Coast to visit his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand). The visit is only supposed to be a short one prior to embarking on sales pitches throughout the USA, however on hearing his mother has “unfinished business” on the West Coast, he invites her along on his road trip. Having been widowed when Andy was in his early teens, Joyce is a woman who spends most of her time alone and scoffs at the idea of relationships due to being set in her ways. The two clash before they even make the road trip and the viewer has to wonder what will happen when this pair are in the confined space of a car for several days.


Despite being a comedy, the film is seriously short of laughs. The jokes are very weak and attempts to get a laugh from the audience result in virtually no reaction. Even scenes which the viewer feels should be funny are cringe worthy and disappointing. While all parents have the potential to be both comic and embarrassing, the conversations between the mother and son seem unrealistic and the dialogue seems forced. At times it feels like the writer has tried too hard to make the film funny while not putting much effort into the story and characters.


The two lead actors are watchable but not great. While Seth Rogen tries to be funny as Andy, it doesn’t really work and his performance is substandard compared to previous roles. The character lacks depth and seems like a cardboard cut out. Barbra Streisand succeeds in playing the annoying mother role but lacks humour and gives a very average performance. Joyce (Streisand) also comes out with some rather ludicrous statements, particularly the reasons why she hasn’t pursued a relationship. The supporting cast are insignificant and easily forgotten.


Overall, The Guilt Trip is a disappointing and unfunny movie. There are no particularly memorable moments in the whole 95 minutes and members of the audience who took another person to see it may end up getting a guilt trip themselves for choosing it.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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