The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip is a comedy with jokes spread way too thin, and a story that never seems to get focused. The movie’s identity crisis never allows it’s funny ideas to come to fruition and overall has resolutions that aren’t satisfying. Streisand and Rogan are the most enjoyable part of this movie but the common road trip tropes as well as the predictability of the plot gives this film an all too familiar feel.

The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand, is about a mother who joins her son as he travels cross-country selling his newly designed cleaning product. Along the way the two confront their troubled past as well as strengthen their bond.

The Guilt Trip

For all that it’s lacking, The Guilt Trip is still a heart felt and a sincere effort. Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand deliver a performance that is fun to watch but it’s hard to be entertained by them when so many of the story elements don’t feel natural and end up feeling way too convenient for plot progression. The story focuses way too hard on sticking a love plot in this movie that it feels as though the movie has an identity crisis.

At its core The Guilt Trip seems like it wants to be a story about unrequited love with a subplot between a mom and son just tacked on. The movie is at its best when the two are having fun and riffing between each other during their trip, however anytime the movie slows down for the exposition it becomes apparent that the movie wants to be more of a drama than a comedy. It also doesn’t help that for being a comedy the jokes are spread way too thin and never really seem to have the strong punch needed to drive them home.  The problem with The Guilt Trip is that it has three different plot lines as well as some pretty funny ideas but none of them seem to come to fruition. Even the resolutions for the plot lines aren’t as satisfying as you would like.

The movie spends a lot of time building up this story of lost love for both characters but neither of the resolutions for Rogan and Streisand actually goes anywhere. Most of all, Streisand’s character has a love story that basically throws her deceased husband under the bus and left me feeling more for this unknown character more than I did about the love life of the two that were present.  I really wish the movie had focused more on the mother and son bonding together than trying to throw this love plot in and leaving the movie feeling like such a jumbled mess. Walking out of this movie it is evident that it’s strongest point is Rogan and Streisand.

Streisand is really enjoyable on screen and always found a way to make me chuckle, even if a joke was going south. She really brings out the motherly feel in this movie and did so in such a believable way. Her blunt delivery and quickness to insert advice in all of her son’s affairs gives a good sense of genuine interest as well as the, ‘mother knows best’ feel. Although her character’s writing is questionable, Streisand is still able to salvage the worst parts of her character.

Rogan’s performance on the other hand feels a little phoned in at the beginning but the relationship between Rogan and Streisand hits its stride as the second act begins. Rogan’s humor relied heavily on playing the ‘react to an awkward situation’ card. There are a few scenes that take the awkward situations too far where it just becomes more uncomfortable than funny. It’s really a hit or miss for most of his jokes and it doesn’t help that majority of his best jokes were already shown in the trailers. Rogan does portray the pent up frustration well and is able to unleash his anger on his mother while showing genuine remorse after the arguments are over. Although their individual efforts are good, the two work better when they’re working together.

Streisand and Rogan have a great way of depicting such a heart felt connection between a mother and her son that you can’t help but crack a smile throughout the movie. You can feel the family tie between them even when they’re pushed to their limits. The two give a performance that’s memorable in a movie that wouldn’t have been otherwise. It’s a shame that the movie never capitalizes on the great chemistry between Streisand and Rogan however The Guilt Trip never seems to get its head above water.

The Guilt Trip is a comedy with jokes spread way too thin, and a story that never seems to get focused. The movie’s identity crisis never allows it’s funny ideas to come to fruition and overall has resolutions that aren’t satisfying. Streisand and Rogan are the most enjoyable part of this movie but the common road trip tropes as well as the predictability of the plot gives this film an all too familiar feel.

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One response to “The Guilt Trip

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of April 29th | Thinking Cinematic

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