THE GUILT TRIP – The Review
By Barbara Snitzer of Le Movie Snob
THE GUILT TRIP isn’t really a road trip movie, as it’s being advertised, unless you consider driving around a cul-de-sac a road trip. I mean this figuratively and literally: star Barbra Streisand refused to leave her West Coast home to film a movie about crossing the country. Such is the prerogative of a diva and executive producer, who should have an editor that doesn’t splice in a shot of the smoggy San Fernando Valley while the characters say they’re driving through Virginia.
Barbra Streisand plays Barbra Streisand pretending Seth Rogen is her son. Seth Rogen pretends to be a nerd when he remembers, but mostly, he’s an excellent ad-libber who remembered not to make pot jokes.
Many of the scenes appear to have been improvised, and the duo has an enjoyable chemistry.
But Barbra Streisand looks nothing like her character, a detail made all the more clear when she’s sitting around the table with her frumpy yenta peers. She still has that Brooklyn accent, that street smart attitude, perfect blown-out highlights, and those NAILS. The audience is supposed to forget she’s Barbra Streisand because she wears track suits (rather than Donna Karan) and is obsessed with frogs.
Superficial, distracting details like this is not the stuff of character work. But for this movie, that’s okay.
Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen are movie stars, not actors, who essentially play themselves in every project. I will give the movie credit for including a funny scene where Streisand, who started her career on Broadway, performs “dinner theatre” in a way one would never have imagined.
In baseball terms, this movie is a base hit as opposed to a home run. It’s mildly entertaining, not offensive, and has several very funny moments. It could have been a strike out. But it also feels like it could have been a much, much better movie considering the genre and talent involved.
Just as in real life, THE GUILT TRIP goes nowhere.
2.5 out of 5 stars
THE GUILT TRIP has been rated PG-13 for language and some risqué material.