The Guilt Trip
You’ve grown up. You’ve left home; do your parents treat you the same? When I moved out the first time for college, I’ll admit that I felt a little homesick, being another state away. About three weeks later when I came to visit, my parents were happy to see me, and they were back to their old ways with me. My folks are not overbearing, but they do look out for me more then most parents would. Back in my old room, I felt good, because I was back under their authority. I think that having this restriction gave me more of a structure then my more free life in Arizona. It’s not that I don’t want total freedom, but I still have questions about myself. I eventually finished out my year in Arizona and moved back to California. My parents still treat me the same, but I love them.
I can understand why parents miss their children, but I also understand why they want to get away from their parents. Everyone needs a break when they receive too many statements from their parents. Would you want to hear their long story about how the pizza guy wouldn’t take their expired coupons? If you had a mother like Seth Rogan does in The Guilt Trip, then you’d understand why.
Twenty something chemist Andy Brewster (played by Seth Rogen) has changed careers by inventing a new cleaning product that is environmentally safe and non-toxic. The product is great, but he doesn’t know how to sell it. He has a couple of meeting across the states and a cross-country trip he needs to make. But before leaving, he visits his mother in New Jersey, Joyce (played by Barbra Streisand). Missing her son, she’s back to having her baby boy home. She seems like a nice woman, but she’s also reluctant to move on from her husband’s death. When Andy discovers that his mother had a lost love, he invites her along without revealing the true intention.
The journey across the country takes them through the south and through Texas to their final destinations in Las Vegas and San Francisco. Joyce does her best to respect her sons wishes, but manages to annoy him from listening to a semi-erotic novel on CD to stopping at a topless bar to call a mechanic. Throughout the journey, mother and son learn more about each other that changes how they see themselves.
If you’ve seen these kinds of road trip movies before, then you know what’s going to happen. It’s a very predictable story with the typical annoying car trip stuff, emotional misunderstandings and melodramatic ending. I wouldn’t mind all of this if it’s at least entertaining. The trailers expect you to think that this will be a comic farce that Rogen is used to doing.
You may be disappointed to know that there isn’t that much emphasis on comedy as it is a dramedy, coming of age. This is about Rogen’s study on his journey to appreciate what he has; a crazy, Jewish mother. The biggest laughs actually come from Streisand who throws out some cute jokes here and there, not to mention that she even manages to eat a big piece of steak. I’ll admire the fact that the chemistry between Rogan and Streisand is everywhere. They look like each other and they talk like a real mother and son do. Not every joke works, but when they do work together, they make a passable team.
I’ll give this three and a half audio books out of five. It’s not offensive, but its at least safe. Your parents may enjoy The Guilt Trip more then you, but you can understand why they’ll like this.