September 16, 2014
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The Guilt Trip
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Mother/son road trip comedy)

Barbra Streisand plays Joyce, the overbearing mother of Andy (Seth Rogen), the glib, underachieving son who has invented a great product that he is unable to sell. About to embark on a cross-country trip to pitch his product to the likes of Walmart and CostCo, he invites Mom along.

The two never got along, and the road trip brings out the worst in their relationship. But Andy has an ulterior motive: reunite his widowed mother with her old high school boyfriend.

The two opposites get on each other's nerves, and occasionally on ours, as they bicker and bring up bad memories in their eight-day trek, stopping at seedy motels and bars and encountering some unusual people. Andy has a good cleaning product, but he's a scientist, not a salesman. Joyce butts in, trying to lighten up his presentations but just makes matters worse.

But this is a movie about mother and son bonding, although it takes a bit too long for them to communicate without screaming at each other. There are a few tender moments and a few too many dumb moments along the way. The writers wrap things up nicely with one touching moment.

Rated PG-13, with some sexual references and profanity.


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