Sunday, October 11, 2015

Movie Review: "The Guilt Trip" (2012)

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Movie"The Guilt Trip"
Director: Anne Fletcher
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A chemist named Andrew Brewster (Seth Rogen) has developed an all natural non-toxic cleaning product he calls Scioclean, which he hopes to sell to some major retailers. He has numerous meetings set up all over the country from New York to Las Vegas. He starts his trip with a visit to his mother Joyce's (Barbra Streisand) home. She tells him of her old flame, who Andrew tracks down in San Francisco. In the hopes of playing matchmaker, he invites his mom to accompany him on his road trip, which could be something he immediately regrets.  

Initially, we avoided this movie at all costs because we can only tolerate Barbra Streisand in small doses. You're probably thinking, what's wrong with you?? She has the voice of an angel!! Maybe...if that angel were dropped on her throat box repeatedly until it sounded like a dying cat with a deviated septum. So, the very thought of watching her and Seth Rogen together is quite taxing. If a person was stuck in a car for hours on end on a cross-country road trip, probably the two most annoying things a person could hear would be either Seth Rogen's laugh and/or Barbra Streisand's shrill, nagging voice. The combination of the two is enough to send shivers down even the strongest person's spine. Well, watch "The Guilt Trip" and that's what you'll get for an hour and 35 minutes in this mother/son road trip film because, you know, that has always worked when trying to get closer to someone.

As annoying as Seth Rogen's laugh is, we don't dislike him as an actor or a person. We have seen many of his movies, most of which we at least enjoy. Unfortunately, this movie is absolutely not one of them. This could be because aren't fans of Barbra Streisand, but he's also just as aggravating here. Streisand has been in movies we like, but there was always something about her that has rubbed us the wrong way. With this film, Barbra plays Joyce, who is the stereotypical nagging mother character who guilt trips her son about everything from the littlest mess to the biggest screw up in his life. Seth Rogen plays Andrew, who is actually a bit different from the typical pothead stoner characters he has almost always played in the past. Because of this past, it's actually hard to believe Rogen in his role here as a chemist who lacks the charm and social abilities to sell his groundbreaking product to major retailers. As harping as Streisand's Joyce can be, Rogen's Andrew can be equally as self-centered and weak-kneed in standing up for and asserting himself. This movie is pretty formulaic as Andrew lies to his mom about why he wants her to come and about how successful his meetings are. She gives him unsolicited advice he doesn't want to take because he doesn't think his mom knows what she is talking about. She is always sticking her nose in his business and he is constantly avoiding her. Of course, as predicted before the credit roll at the beginning of the movie begins, it's Joyce's motherly advice that helps him out in the long run, and despite all of their bickering and fighting, they are family and they love each other. It all feels so overdone, so lousily executed. It's trite at best, and not funny to boot. We wound up both annoyed and bored through most of the movie, which is a deadly combination, and it isn't at all aided by the fact that it's based on the true story of one of the writers of the movie. This could have been a good film at some time in some place, if other people had been involved and the script would have been better.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 39%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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