Film Review: The Guilt Trip

Got invited to an early screening of this film, immediately proceeded by a live QnA with Rogen and Streisand themselves and it was a neat experience. I always love seeing free movies early, even when I don’t necessarily love the movie.

From the release of the trailer I thought the plot looked like it had its limits. The film looked like a one-trick pony. Mom is too motherly to a grown man on a cross-country road trip. Alright, can nearly two hours of that be consistently hilarious?

Fortunately we have to strong comedic talents here. Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand (also executive producers) work real well together, even when they are using improv to fight the depthless and unfunny story. Sometimes they are successful, but I can’t say they  added enough comedy to this movie to make me ever recommend it. Unlike most Seth Rogen films, this movie is subdued to a PG-13 rating so it’s real impressive that Rogen is still funny with his improv.

This is a mother-son film to the fullest, about mother-son relationships. I related to the things the mother would nag about to her son, and I’m sure a lot of young adults my age would relate. Older mothers with grown sons may also relate to this film and find comedy within the son’s characteristics.

With the comedy, The Guilt Trip also throws in some heartfelt moments. It’s pretty predictable that these moments involve the mother-son love. The concluding moments really aren’t predictable and feel pretty touching actually. It’s unfortunate that we never get the chance to fully connect with these characters and their issues, or otherwise I would of tugged on the heart strings more.

With all that says, The Guilt Trip is a heart felt comedy that’s not that heart felt or that funny. The story managed to keep my attention though, but the majority of that is owed to the performances of Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand who may have a chance at Golden Globes if Paramount fully campaigns the film. (They will focus a lot of campaigning on Flight).

Final Score: 2/5