Review: “Guilt Trip” does NOT need a road map

December 19th, 2012 at 12:01 am by under Entertainment

You shouldn’t get lost watching “Guilt Trip”.

You certainly don’t need a GPS, road map, google maps, or any other kind of navigational tools to get through this “comedy”… its all pretty much spelled out for you.

There are so many road trip and mother-son cliches, it becomes mind boggling to count them all… from things that often happen during road trips to typical mother-son relationships.  Almost every joke is used… and could have been posted on the blue information sign one exit earlier… because you can see most of the jokes coming a mile away (or already saw them in the trailer)!!!

If you really wanted to see this movie… I recommend waiting to rent it…. just keep your expectations low.

“The Guilt Trip” poster courtesy Paramount Pictures

(My spoiler-free review)

Through reasons that are a bit absurd (considering his relationship with his mom),  Andy decides to take his mother Joyce on his cross-country road trip to pitch his invention.

Seth Rogen plays a guy who is kind of clueless about what it takes to sell his idea and he’s very much bothered by his an annoying smotherer of a mom, played by Barbra Streisand.  As much as they are an odd couple on the road and their troubled mother-son relationship, it seems like they could actually be mother and son.

Their chemistry actually works for this mostly mindless, sort-of funny mother-son road trip movie with more cliches than pit stops.

She babies him, sabotages his plans, makes him feel guilty, all while he rolls his eyes, whimpers, and mutters about what she’s done.  I think every road trip cliche except  a rest stop/bathroom joke and/or truck stop joke were covered here.

There were more problems than laughs with the story, the writing, the production values…. its easily one of the weakest movies of the year.  And if Streisand and Rogen have any acting talents left, they are wasted here.  Rogen is typical of most of his movie characters: loud, crass, mean, and self centered… it seems effortless, but it also feels like we’re watching the combination of virtually every other character he’s played.  In some scenes Streisand seems to be trying to rekindle her early acting prowess, then in other scenes, its as if she’s really trying not to laugh at the absurdity of it all.  I didn’t grow to like either character, in fact I grew to like both characters less as time went on.   60 minutes into the 90 minute movie, it actually got a little better… for a few scenes… but then it just shifted back into cliche cruise control, and headed down the road of predictable.  This is a flop for director Anne Fletcher and writer Dan Fogelman.

“The Guilt Trip” can barely be called a comedy, because it only really made me laugh twice… on purpose.

My mother used to say if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

So I will skip to…. THE BOTTOM LINE:

Don’t… “pack your bags”… don’t “get your ticket now” … don’t “start your engines” or any other associated saying that some marketing campaign will want to use with this movie!!

Do… wait to rent… or just never waste your time with “The Guilt Trip”… I give it 5.0 out of 10 … its just not worth your time and hard earned money!

MORE INFO (possible spoilers):

Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen in “The Guilt Trip” photo courtesy Paramount Pictures

“The Guilt Trip”

(2012) (rated: PG-13 for language and some risque material)
(1 hr, 36 min)

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Kathy Najimy, Miriam Margolyes, Rose Abdoo, Yvonne Strahovski, Colin Hanks, Brett Cullen, Adam Scott, Ari Graynor

Director: Anne Fletcher  ["The Proposal" (2009), "27 Dresses" (2008)]

Writers: Dan Fogelman

Genre: Comedy

The Plot:  As inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, a quick stop at his mom’s house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.

So what did you think?  Please post a comment!

“The Guilt Trip” poster and photo courtesy Paramount Pictures

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