On the surface, I appear to be the perfect audience for Anne Fletcher's mother/son road trip comedy The Guilt Trip. I love Barbra Streisand on screen, I'm one of the few who adores Seth Rogen and finds him both charming and curiously attractive, and I occasionally (perhaps too often) have a penchant for this sort of lightweight comedy. It shouldn't surprise then that I came out of The Guilt Trip without having the sever allergic reaction that many others have had. I certainly don't think it's the cinematic road kill that others have claimed, but for a film that's so curiously pitched at vastly different audience different audiences (Streisand fans and Rogen fans are not typically the kind to sit together on lunch break) it manages enough sweetness to get by.
Streisand has been nominated for a Razzie for this performance, which is hardly surprising given that award body's seemingly tireless effort to be even lazier than people claim the Oscars to be. As the overtly Jewish Mother (I'm sure the filmmakers would capitalise if it they could so I'll do it for them) of the picture she's perfectly fine and doesn't really add anything to the role that isn't there on the page - she has a particularly wonderful moment at the house of Adam Scott's character as she uncovers the truth behind her first true love - but it's Rogen who, along with Take This Waltz, proves to be a warm screen presence when in the absense of marijuana and his Apatow cronies. The Guilt Trip is visually unspectacular and lord only knows where that $40mil budget was spent - on location filming, I presume, but who can really tell? - but if the film ultimately lacks the zest that Fletcher's 27 Dresses, The Proposal, and Step Up had, then that's at least partially made up for with the actors. Why on Earth the screenwriter thought the story of a mother teaching her grown up son how to sell environmentally friendly detergent was something worth endeavouring with is something I can't answer, but the final product seems to come and go without offending. B-