Monday, May 20, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—The Guilt Trip (2012) ***

PG-13, 95 min.
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Starring: Seth Rogen, Barbara Streisand, Kathy Najimy, Miriam Margolyes, Rose Abdoo, Casey Wilson, Dale Dickey, Yvonne Strahovski, Colin Hanks, Brett Cullen, Nora Dunn, Adam Scott, Ari Graynor

“The Guilt Trip” is harmless, observational, humorous fun. It isn’t great by any stretch of the word. There’s no mystery about what will happen and how it will all turn out. It’s a road trip movie, so there are really only two characters that matter; all the others are just scenery that travel into view and out of it again. So we’re left with a mother and son played by Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen. Two actors from two very different generations, and they’re appeal together comes from that contrast. They make a good mother and son.

Rogen is an inventor who has developed a cleaning product that works and is environmentally friendly. Streisand is his mom, whom he invites along for a trip across country to hock his product to different retail outlets. He thinks she needs a man in her life long after his father’s passing and has an idea about hooking her up with an old flame in San Francisco. That’s all the set up this story needs and it’s all it gets. The rest of the film is filled with those mother/son moments that mostly concern their differences and how he feels nagged and she feels under appreciated.

This isn’t exactly comedy gold, but it’s made of something pretty solid. Rogen holds his own against Streisand, and she him. It’s not as raunchy as most of Rogen’s work, but they do talk about his penis much more than anyone would want their mother to discuss the subject. I’m glad I didn’t run out to theaters to see this, but it is good home viewing material. You know, something you can watch with your mother.

No comments: