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3.6 out of 5 stars
The Guilt Trip
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119 of 137 people found the following review helpful
Aside from her near-cameo appearances in two ensemble comedies, Barbra Streisand has not starred in a movie in sixteen long years, not since 1996's The Mirror Has Two Faces which she also directed. Her output as an actress has been meager since around 1980 when she started directing films, building houses and returning to the concert stage periodically, so it was with both great anticipation and some trepidation that I saw this light-hearted 2012 comedy. What a relief to find she hasn't missed a beat in her sharp comedy timing. I think she's terrific as Joyce Brewster, the energetically overbearing mother of Andy, an organic chemical engineer who long ago moved to California and has recently invented a cleaning solution he is pitching to various store chains headquartered across the country. He plans a weekend visit with Joyce in New Jersey, but upon an intriguing discovery about her past, he invites her on an eight-day cross-country road trip with him.

As directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) and written by Dan Fogelman (the underrated Crazy, Stupid, Love) who based his script on his own late mother, the film is about how their two mismatched personalities unsurprisingly clash at every stop as their relationship twists and turns with each new humiliation for Andy and each new revelation for the both of them, a few of them quite poignant. The film is at its comedic best when she and co-star Seth Rogen as Andy volley back and forth with her well-meaning thoughts and antics at odds with his spiky annoyance at anything she says or does. Rogen plays against type as the coiled-up Andy since his stoner-dude personality has been the basis of much of his previous comedy. Here he needs to show some dramatic gravity (as he did earlier this year in Take This Waltz) and again does surprisingly well when necessary. There is a confrontation scene between the two characters that I wish could have gone on a bit longer and deeper than it did, but he manages to bring a real edge to the film in ways I didn't quite expect from him.

Of course there are predictable comedy pieces that also work like a steak-eating contest in Texas where Joyce has to down a fifty-ounce piece of beef in an hour to avoid a $100 tab. There's also quite a supporting cast here, but like Streisand movies of yore, the familiar actors contribute moments that amount to nearly bit parts. Kathy Najimy and Miriam Margolyes are among Joyce's Weight Watchers friends in a quick dinner scene early in the story, while Adam Scott and Ari Graynor show up at the very end of the road trip in San Francisco. In between are appearances by Brett Cullen as a cowboy who becomes smitten with Joyce during the eating contest and Nora Dunn as an officious HSN TV hostess. But that's fine since Rogen really lets Streisand dominate the movie all the way from pushing off potential suitors at a mature singles mixer to getting into the wrong car at a mini-mart pit-stop to getting drunk in a motel bar to sharing her innocently ignorant perceptions of stereotypes. This is only her 19th film since her extraordinary debut in Funny Girl 44 years ago, reason enough to enjoy the warm, accomplished performance she gives here.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
A mother/son road trip movie is sort of an uncharted journey in the film world. That made this a very unique film from the start.. Based on an actual road trip that Fogelman took with his mother is probably what makes the movie so real. Streisand and Rogen have great chemistry and since the movie is 80% just them, that is a godsend. Joyce's constant need to interfere with Andy's life in almost every aspect drives him crazy until an explosion of unexpected drama on the part of mother and son. There are so many funny lines and situations that the theatre was filled with laughter often. The movie could also take a very serious, moving turn which can move you to tears.
Streisand has always been an actress of immeasurable range from musicals (Funny Girl) to comedy (What's Up Doc?) to drama (The Way We Were) with each type being a blockbuster hit. In her semi-retirement she works very seldom. It took them a year to convince her to come back to her first lead role in many years. Her Joyce is perhaps one of the most real characters she has ever played Stripped of glamour she wears track shoes and sneakers. She is just a regular mother who lives for the happiness of her son. Rogen has rarely played such a straight character as Andy. Anne Fletcher has brought out the best of them both. The climatic showdown is pure real dramatic that Streisand delivers with a powerful punch that stuns the audience as much as Andy.
. I liked everything about this film and can't wait to see it again. Don't skip the end because there are a lot of clips after the credits of mother and son banter that is very funny.
This is a great film for parents and grown children. I wish my mother was still alive- I'd love to take her to see it.
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84 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
GUILT TRIP is a welcome change from most films Hollywood powerbrokers tend to finance. Like HOPE SPRINGS which was released earlier this year, this film is NOT the sidesplitting comedy one would expect to see from the theatrical trailers promoting the film. Instead it is a warm and endearing film focusing on a relationship between mother and adult son. This is one of Streisand's most subdued but convincing performances in years. She is not the larger than life persona we've seen in previous films. Rogen gives a nice performance as Andy, a character very unlike others he's created in past films. This is definitely a film I'll enjoy watching from time to time and sharing with friends.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
"Let me tell you something kiddo, you don't have to like me or spend time with me, but as long as I'm your mother you will treat me with respect. Now drink your water before you drop dead from dehydration." Andy Brewster (Rogen) has invented a new cleaner. He is going on a cross-country trip to try and sell it. His first stop is New York...and a visit with his mom (Streisand). When a conversation brings up old stories Andy decides to invite his mom to join him, which he regrets about 5 minutes in. I was looking forward to seeing this because the trailer reminded me of me and my own mom. I will say the movie wasn't as funny as I was hoping but it was still really funny and I do recommend this. Every mother and son should see this together, I saw a lot of similarities between me and mine throughout. Some lines I'm sure we have said over and over. The cast is perfect and Rogen and Streisand actually seem related. The end got a little sappy but overall this is a very funny movie. Overall, funny but I was also hoping for funnier. I do recommend seeing this though. I give it a B.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
This movie has a perfect combination of comedy and drama. Streisand never fails to amaze and Rogen showed a much wider range of acting than he has shown in the past. He could be an equally effective dramatic actor as he is in comedy. As for Streisand, 'please don't wait so long to make a movie!' No matter what Streisand does in a movie, you can be assured that it is well worth seeing. I could sit through 'Guilt Trip' a dozen times and not get bored.
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89 of 120 people found the following review helpful
I took my dad to see this movie. A couple years back I lost my mother, coincidentally my mother and I went to see A mirror has two faces the last movie she released where Barbra was the star. In one scene, halfway through the movie an incident happens and it changes the dynamics of this movie. Anyway, I sat there at the end when others were laughing and tears were rolling down my eyes. I can remember similar situations with my mother, I loved her but I'm also a gay male, I wasn't the only child but the distance between my eldest brother and I (I'm the baby) is 10 years. I also was the gay male so I can understand the story plot very well. Would I see it again, I have, this time alone, still cried at the end but it was a good cry. Now don't get me wrong the ending is not sad, but I loved my mother, she was my friend and as we get older they tend to become our friend, just wish I had more time with her. Excellent movie, really!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2014
I can only suspect that the people who rated this movie five stars are either family members of the movie's production team, huge fans of Barbra Streisand who missed seeing her on screen for so long that they'd give her five stars in "Blair Witch 3" if she starred in it, or big Seth Rogen fans. The only good thing about this movie is when it finally ends.

Road-trip and buddy movies are difficult to pull off. If it's also a comedy, then it's even more difficult. Knowing how to pace the film, throw in enough jokes and gags to keep the story moving, hilarious, and fresh takes a lot of skill. Unfortunately, this movie simply fell flat from start to finish and everywhere in between.

It seemed like the director wasn't working from a shooting script but a story idea and simply made it up as she went along. Everything seemed juxtaposed and forced, especially the comedy. The only way I can see this movie working is if the filmmakers had tossed the whole "comedy" approach and, instead, dealt with the film as a coming-of-age story or straight drama. As is, the movie is just bad.

Streisand was so bad in this movie that she was nominated for a Razzie as worst actress of the year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2014
This was a good movie. My husband and I watched it together after dinner, and, though it dragged a bit in spots, we enjoyed it. If I ran the world, I'd take the word "hilarious" off of the package. It's not hilarious. It has it's moments here and there, most of which are predictable, but this one won't keep you in stitches. I think its beauty is found in Streisand's acting. It's not her best role, but she shines as the fretting, fussy, overprotective mother taking a road trip with her son. The whole movie ties nicely together at the end. I loved the ending. Worth watching, but don't expect hilarity! :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2014
This movie was very enjoyable. My concern was that Seth Rogan would become obnoxious over the course of the movie and that Barbara Streisand would not be easy to watch. I was pleased to find I was wrong on both fronts. Rogan delivers a great performance as the straight man and Streisand steals the movie as the over caring, guilt delivering, sometimes bumbling, always well meaning single mother. Check it out - you will find a good road movie and a surprisingly well paired comedy duo.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2015
If you like movies that are funny because they are awkward you might like this
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