By Jess Fenton
20th January 2013

Sentimental isn’t a word you’d immediately think of when referring to the potential of a Seth Rogen/Barbara Streisand collaboration - but unfortunately that’s what you’re going to get, and not the laughs you were hoping for or deserve in 'The Guilt Trip'.

Andrew (Rogen) is an organic chemist who has spend the last five years and almost all of his money developing a completely natural, non-toxic cleaning product. He’s about to embark on a road trip that will see him shaking hands with those that can either make or break his invention and future. Starting in New Jersey, the home of his mother Joyce (Streisand), Andrew asks her along when it’s revealed during an intimate conversation that Andrew was named after a long lost-love of his mother's. Hoping to surprise her with a reunion, Andrew and Joyce set off. From the get-go, it’s obvious that Joyce is a doting, proud and nurturing mother who struggles to find common ground with her intellectual son who lives on the other side of the country. Their journey is filled with revelations, tension, a few laughs and even an eating contest, each event weakening their current relationship and strengthening their future one.


Anne Fletcher (‘The Proposal’, ’27 Dresses’) has directed this mother and son caper. Perhaps not very PC to say, but it’s clear to see that with a woman’s touch, sentimentality won out over overt comedy (the same can be said of her past films also). Fletcher has done well in her on-screen match up, but falls short of letting their supreme comedic talents run their course, pulling in the reins just a little too tight.

There’s no doubt that these are two talented actors and even a great pairing, but they just couldn’t polish the dud material, through no fault of their own.

This film is as likeable as it is a typical, commercial, cookie cutter movie. The mother and son relationship shown is relatable with all of us knowing a Joyce, but put simply, it’s just not the comedic ride you were probably looking for.

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