The Guilt Trip - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guilt Trip Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 27, 2013
Amazingly this film is based on a real life experience which one of the writers had with his own mother on a road trip. Whether this actually makes the film any more interesting is up to you, personally for me it doesn't but the whole idea is very relatable.

My first thought God! has someone actually seen me and my own mother out together one day and thought the embarrassing scenario would make a good comedy?. But in all honesty I'm sure there are many many people who could say the exact same thing.

The plot is simple, in fact its 'Planes Trains and Automobiles' just slightly altered, there's even a steak eating contest sequence. 'Brewster' and his very overbearing mother love each other but like all young adults and their parents there is friction. In this very sappy yet heart warming tale Seth Rogen's character takes his mother on a long road trip across the US from the East coast to Vegas and finally San Francisco for another small separate sub plot. Why? because he's trying to sell his new environmentally friendly cleaning product...annnd that's it in a nutshell.

In all honesty this film is very sweet and very weepy but ultimately its also very cliched and unoriginal.  Streisand is clearly the best thing about the film with her typical Jewish mother routine. Always trying to feed Rogen's character, always asking if he's warm enough, always telling him to be careful and generally being nosy, awkwardly embarrassing and annoying at just the wrong times just like all mothers can be.

The plot is really really thin and offers little chances for fun apart from the obvious odd moment before a sales pitch. In general the start of the film is probably the best, as Rogen gets off his flight and meets Streisand at the airport, that sequence made me laugh, at that point I'm thinking this could be a winner. But the whole thing is pretty daft, would you really drive across the US to make sales? surely the gas would cost a fortune? maybe not I dunno.

Also the whole sub plot bit about Streisand's character trying to meet up with this guy she dated waaaay back before she had her child (Rogen's character), is ridiculous. She is hinging on the fact this guy would remember her and somehow want to get back together! after about...I dunno, 30-40 years or so! as if!. They only had a fling, if that, this idea felt really stretched.

The film wants to be funny, its so clearly wants to be the next big hilarious comedy, but it falls well well short. There are some easy opportunities for great comedy, both Rogen and Streisand being cooped up together for the whole trip in this tiny compact city car. Its yearning for some brilliant visual moments but they just don't come, even when they both go into a strip club, you're watching and waiting for the obvious embarrassing belly laughs...but no, still nothing.

Its a shame because its heart is in the right place and the premise is a good one (if completely over used), there's just very little to laugh at here. The film runs out of comedy fuel well before the end credits I'm afraid, but the chances were there.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2013
Joyce Brewster: Don't you see Andy? It was always you. You're the love of my life baby.

"Get Ready For One Mother Of A Road Trip"

I didn't expect anything much from The Guilt Trip, but I never expected as lousy a movie as I got. You'd think Streisand and Rogen as a mother and son combo would make the movie go down easier, but the awful and extremely cliche writing makes that impossible. In the end, this is one of the worst comedies I've seen in awhile. The jokes don't really ever work, and the two or three times they actually do, the payoff results in just a little chuckle. 

Andy is a scientist who has a new invention he is attempting to sell to major corporate retail chains. When he goes and visits his mother for a weekend before he goes on a week long, cross country road trip for several meetings; things change when he asks his mother to come along. From there, there's the usual road trip problems and mother, son quarrels. It's all quite bland and lifeless. 

The Guilt Trip is definitely one to pass on and that's coming from someone who is a big fan of Seth Rogen. This comedy is weak from start to finish however, and about twenty minutes in, I realized, I already didn't care about any of the characters or what was to happen later in the movie. It ended up just being a big waste of time.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2013
I thought that this movie was sweet....maybe it helps that I have always been a Barbra Streisand fan. Pairing her with Rogen was a good match, and together they manage a touching portrayal of a mother-son relationship. Their road trip together was delightful, and the storyline was enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2013
I was very disappointed in this movie, as the previews were better then the movie, its a shame when you have to show all the comedy in the preview's to draw a sucker like me in to watch the whole movie. I will say that Barbra Streisand still has it after all these years, but a true New Yorker with her New Yorker accent reminded me of my Mother- In- Law. Sorry Barbra you only get 2 stars from me. 7-15-13
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2013
Not as bad as I thought it would be. It has it's drawn out parts, but makes you understand the mother/son relationship and think about your relationship with your parents.
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2013
three stars
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2013
Get ready for one mother of a road trip.

Boring so so movie! Unfortunately, the makers of Guilt Trip appear to believe that a movie requires a plot, and sadly, this one was clunky. For a comedy film to work, you either have to completely put reality aside, or somehow believe an unbelievable story. This film didn't fall into either category. The plot just wasn't strong enough to support the premise that any son would be crazy enough to take his mother on a long business trip with him, and there was no reason why he kept bringing her to all his business appointments. This could have been a much better film if the script was better, but I was disappointed. Don't go see this film unless you are a Barbra Streisand fan.

As inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, a quick stop at his mom's house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2013
It's really sad when movies like this get made, because when the script is so seemingly flawed, you have to know in advance that it's not going to go anywhere, so why make it? It has the sentimentality that everyone likes to see, and the chemistry between the two leads, but even with a stellar cast, the writing for this is not good. Not horrible, scratching at my corneas and pushing the Q-tip through my eardrum bad, but not good either. This film is in part based on the real life road trip taken by screenwriter Dan Fogelman and his mother. The comedy has hints of the Jewish mother-son comedy where the mother nitpicks everything about her son until he implodes. It may not be a genre but it's definitely been seen before, and though the most Jewish-centric leads were chosen, and had an amazing amount of chemistry, this film was doomed from the start. The dialogue is so flimsy, there aren't any huge climactic moments, and most of the time Joyce (Streisand) is schmaltzy and ineffectual while Andrew (Rogen) comes off as a weak and socially awkward mama's boy. After a while Joyce's nagging feels genuine and heartless, and their relationship never gets to the point of sweet or maternal, but instead a strange dissidence between having a real life and ruining your only child's. It's really creepy the way she watches old videos of them, buys him things, talks about him all the time, butts into his life. He then has to love her for all her faults, time and again, when really she needs major therapy. Even the trip itself is boring, between the lack of things actually happening and their horrible relationship. The resolutions are forced, the characters are flat, and overall this film is simply frustrating and bland. The ending, which was also forced sentimentality, was somewhat clever, but didn't have any of the raw emotion that would have made it moving. I'm not even mad, I'm just very disappointed.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2013
The Guilt Trip is a poorly constructed comedy that lacks effective comedy to really make it a fun, entertaining movie. I really wanted to enjoy this film, but I was very much disappointed. The film is an awful comedy that just falls short on every level. The cast is wasted on poor material and they simply don't deliver anything worthwhile that would a comedy fun to watch. Everything here seems strained, uninspired and Seth Rogen is bland in his performance and he just isn't funny here. I really hated the film, and Barbra Streisand, who normally makes me smile, is just not interesting to watch. If only the script would have been much better, then this one would work. Unfortunately it doesn't and this is one of the worst comedies that I have seen in recent times. This is just a missed opportunity to create something great. The film cuts and pastes bits and pieces from other films that are much better. If you come across this film, it definitely isn't worth checking out. There are better comedies out there, and Seth Rogen has made far better films than this unwatchable train wreck. Along with Identity Thief, The Guilt Trip just doesn't deliver the laughs that you'd want from a movie with two talented comedians. Pass this one up; you'll be glad you did. This is a laugh free comedy that simply doesn't accomplish what it tries to do. All we have here is a film that wastes its actors on a pitiful script. If there could have been a bit more effort into writing a good script, The Guilt Trip would have been a fun and entertaining comedy, but in the end, it's an awful disappointment.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2013
Not bad. Dragged a little in places, but fine as something non demanding to have on in the background. Not exactly heavy in plot or hard to follow.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2011
review soon...
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2012
A funny thing happened after seeing The Guilt Trip. My father asked me what else Seth Rogen had been in that he had seen. And I was stumped (in retrospect, I could have said 50/50). I think that summarizes the mishmash of audiences for this mother/son road trip comedy. Rogen teams up with the ultimate Jewish mother, played by Barbara Streisand (Meet the Fockers), to travel the country. From that premise alone, it's pretty much exactly everything you'd think it would be. The comedy is rather flat mostly because both characters feel mismatched from a comedy perspective; neither is given enough edge. I was surprised then when I found the warmhearted dramatic parts so much more skilled than the comedy (remember, sliding scale). The heart is better than the laughs. The deteriorating mother/son relationship is given some thoughtful consideration, and there are a few sweet emotional turns at the end to find a satisfying departure. It's a rather nice movie, nothing too special or interesting, but nice can be perfectly fine under the right circumstances. I'm a Rogen fan and always enjoy his cocksure presence onscreen, and Streisand, at 70 years old, is still a natural movie star. The post-credits outtakes point to funnier material from their pairing, but director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) sticks the well-worn path of the road trip movie. It's fairly inoffensive and safe, but The Guilt Trip has some light-hearted pleasures to offer its older audience, especially middle-aged parents and grandparents. Simply put: if you have to see one older-appealing movie with your family this holiday season, Parental Guidance or The Guilt Trip, take the trip.

Nate's Grade: B-
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2012
Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand, sounds like a joke right there doesn't it? Streisand stars as Joyce, Andy's(Seth Rogan) over bearing, loving mother. Andy is trying to sell a new cleaning supply and invites his mother on his cross country sales tour. He hopes to reunite her with an old love, but she drives him crazy the entire way there. It's pretty generic, but there are some good funny scenes spread throughout. Rogan pretty much plays the straight man the entire movie, which is much different than how he usually does in comedies. Streisand is very good, and is very funny and sweet. She may be annoying to her son on screen, but to the audience she is charming and very loveable. I also really liked the ending. It had a small twist to it, that I really liked. This isn't something that is going to stick, or probably even be remembered much. But for a one time watch it's entertaining. Good movie to watch with your mom and let her know how much you love her.
Super Reviewer
½ December 14, 2014
In "The Guilt Trip," Andy(Seth Rogen) has just invented an organic cleaner that he plans to peddle to corporate stores around the country. While doing so, he also plans to bring along his mother Joyce(Barbra Streisand), not only to get her out of the house but also because he has also located her first love still alive in San Francisco.

You know you're in trouble if in trying to make a comedy, the best scene is a serious one, hinting at where the overall tone of "The Guilt Trip" should have been in the first place. I mean Seth Rogen has shown he has been able to drama and comedy before but shows he has no idea here of how to be the straight man and Barbra Streisand's once great comic instincts have apparently atrophied to very little over the decades. That leaves it to Brett Cullen to steal the scene he is in, with another highlight involving a strip club. Because otherwise all you are left with are the cliches of the road movie genre, with the accompanying overwhelming product placement. The saddest thing is this might be the closest we come to a big screen adaptation of "Middlesex."
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2013
The Guilt Trip has some good chemistry between the two main actors, but overall it doesnt provide enough laughs to be conisidered a comedy.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2013
Nobody is ever going to say that THE GUILT TRIP is good filmmaking. Seriously, it's not really even a good movie. Anne Fletcher may have a gift for putting big stars at ease in blockbuster scenarios, but her actual directing skills are serviceable (some may say hackey) at best, judging by her output to date. The writer, Dan Fogelman, however, is truly gifted. His screenplay for last year's CRAZY STUPID LOVE was among my favorites, especially amongst studio films. Fletcher and Fogelman's partnership for THE GUILT TRIP, however, doesn't yield such impressive results. The script is fairly skimpy, not terribly funny, utterly predictable, and consists of some long, drawn-out set pieces that often bring the story to a screeching halt. BUT...I kept asking myself, why did I have such a great time watching it?

The answer? Sometimes star power works.

This is a PHONE BOOK MOVIE. That is, Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, together onscreen for the first but hopefully not the last time, could have read said book and I would have been content. Seth Rogen is becoming a favorite of mine for his utterly naturalistic approach to material. He once again won me over as Andy Brewster, an aspiring entrepreneur, who takes his mother (Babs) along on a cross country road trip to sell his innovative cleaning product and to hook Mom up with her long lost love. Oh, it doesn't really matter, because this film is the best excuse I've seen in a long time to put this pair together. Perfectly cast as mother and son, Streisand and Rogen have true chemistry. They're a joy to watch, and as labored as the plotting is, you kind of just want to sit in a car with them as they listen to MIDDLESEX (hilarious choice), or
be a fly on the wall as she crunches M&Ms in bed, much to her son's consternation. Because the pair are totally invested in their roles, I was too, and cared enough about them to even shed a tear at the end.

Streisand hasn't been this loose and fun in many many years. Gone is the self-serious bucket of nails and left-side only posing. It's been replaced by someone who clearly knows her character, a needy, kvetchy but not unlikeable mom who gets a charge from spending time with her boy. It's sweet, tender, and blissfully un-ironic. She also looks great. Not for 70. She just looks great, period. There's not a whiff of "Rich Woman Slumming Through a Studio Programmer" vibe at all. Streisand seems to be having the time of her life making a heroine out of a coupon-clipping, boundary-free, yet surprisingly insightful woman. Of course, there's an endless, somewhat pointless sequence in which she must eat a 50 ounce steak in a Texas Honkytonk, but it's also entirely defensible to say it's fun to watch a diva chomp down on meat.

Rogen also seems energized by his co-star's presence. This is a very controlled performance, a slow burn which erupts time and again in just the right places. It's refreshing to take him out of his comfort zone where he's surrounded by his fellow slackers and examine who a guy like that has to operate in the real world. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the evolution of his sales pitches over the course of the film.

Now remember, I didn't say this was good. There are way too many useless celebrity cameos, which seem to exist solely so that each of them can say they shared the screen with Barbra. But really, Casey Wilson, Miriam Margolyes, Colin Hanks, Nora Dunn, Adam Scott, and Ari Graynor are way too good to be thrown away like this. And don't get me started on the technical elements, which are mostly flat, uninteresting compositions, dull production design, and overall simply professional in its best moments. Doesn't matter. I'll be the first in line to watch Andy and Joyce take a EUROPEAN GUILT TRIP!
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2013
Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand are great on screen together, however the film is a big misfire. They needed a major rewrite. They had a great idea for a film but didn't execute it correctly. The tone was a bit off. At times it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a comedy or a drama. Some scenes in the film felt like they were copying scenes from National Lampoons Vacation. The scene with Barbra eating steak felt like a copy of John Candy eating steak from the film The Great Outdoors.

Rogen and Barbra are great together on screen. They have a great chemistry, but they need better material to work with than this.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2012
Kind of a broken mirror that happens to have two faces, Barbra Streisand's latest is a Guilt-free fissure that's far from a Trip to bountiful. This mediocre buddy comedy's biggest stroke of genius proves to be the casting of Streisand and Rogen. They kibbitz, yenta it up, and exchange one-liners like a well-oiled Jewish vaudeville team composed of Marx, Ritz, or Howard siblings?only vaudeville?s dead. Oh, the flick certainly has heart. The problem is that predictability runs through its veins. Thanks to some clever moments, this comedy is not so much a case of poor writing as it is lazy writing. Far from a guilty pleasure, it leaves audiences wondering, "Was this trip really necessary?"

In this PG-13-rated comedy, an inventor (Rogen) and his widow mom (Streisand) hit the road together so he can sell his latest invention.

Both Streisand and Rogen have given better performances and made better movies, which certainly gives meaning to the title, The Way We Were. Here, under the capable direction of Anne Flecther (27 Dresses, The Proposal), they turn in a comedy that's not entirely worthy of their talents, but not entirely a black spot on their CV either. It's just a mensch of a vehicle hopelessly on cruise control.

Bottom Line: Meet the Schlockers.
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2013
Don't let the critics for you on this one, The Guilt Trip is a highly talented and down to earth comedy. I honestly didn't expect much after watching the trailer and seeing the cast, I expected comedy cliche, a film with fart jokes and perverted moments to bring laughs. Not at all, while this did have some sexual jokes, this was overall just lighthearted humor, which has plenty of laughs. Writer Dan Fogelman (who wrote Crazy, Stupid, Love) really did a good job on this, director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) carried along his work well. I liked both Rogen and Streisand together, and I never looked at the clock during this movie. Always nice to run into an underrated gem like this.
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