The Guilt Trip [Blu-Ray] Anne Fletcher

The Guilt Trip [Blu-Ray] Anne Fletcher
3
Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen in a mother-son road trip comedy? It's the kind of calculated pitch that sounds like it was spit-balled at a board meeting to fill a very specific niche need on the studio's release calendar. The casting is very much a deliberate cross-marketing experiment, but thanks to the advent of bonus content, it's revealed that writer Dan Fogelman based the script upon an actual road trip he took with his mom. His personal connection to the material doesn't make the movie that middling, rhythmic rom-com director Anne Fletcher (Step Up, The Proposal) made out of it any less forgettable or pandering though. Rogen plays Andy, a biological chemist trying to sell a cleaning product made of sustainable ingredients (um… palm kernel oil? Somebody isn't too familiar with the concept of deforestation). Single and in his mid-30s, Andy has some mommy/daddy issues to resolve and somehow this takes the form of inviting his mother to join him on a road trip so he can secretly reunite her with the man she was sleeping with when she met his father. His needy and neurotic mother (Streisand) is delighted to spend time with her baby boy, and innocuous screwball antics ensue. Somebody's mom is supposed to laugh when Joyce keeps Andy from sleeping, with her kooky habit of munching M&Ms in bed, while that mom's son is supposed to laugh when Joyce calls hitchhikers "rapers." And everyone is supposed to laugh when Joyce shovels four pounds of greasy American beef down her throat in front of a crowd to save the struggling Seth a few bucks. Rogen's natural comic timing makes some of the limp jokes a little funnier and Streisand is perfectly adequate, but it's hard to imagine anyone will be amused by a fading icon getting stranded at a strip club or hit on by Jeff Kober (Willow's mystical smack dealer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer). For all its shortcomings, the movie has no shortage of heart and, yes, we should all spend more time with our mothers. When you do find, or make, that precious time however, don't waste it on watching The Guilt Trip. Even if your mother is a big Streisand fan, don't make the mistake of thinking the special features will salvage the experience. There are plenty — candid footage of Barbara and Seth goofing around on set, the director showing off her dance moves, some technical info on faking a road trip, a gag reel, deleted scenes and both alternate openings and endings (the excised conclusion does a much neater job paying off all the contrived romantic set ups). However, none of them are any funnier than this deeply mediocre movie. (Paramount)