Aiming for comedy and emotion, ‘The Guilt Trip’ is all over the map
Barbra Streisand seems to have a blast playing Seth Rogen’s mother in “The Guilt Trip,” a cute, inter-generational on-the-road comedy that goes to predictable places but still leaves you with a smile at the end of the journey.
Streisand is about as nagging and embarrassing as she was when playing Ben Stiller’s mom in “Meet the Fockers,” but at least here she keeps her character slightly more grounded in reality, and comes across as much more relatable. Streisand’s quick interactions with Rogen take center stage, as Rogen pushes her toward more authenticity with some improvisation riffs. (Stay for the credits to see more of these.)
The core relationship in “The Guilt Trip” is touching, but yet the film does not genuinely earn those feelings, which are forcibly crammed in around one-liners about hitchhikers and a giant-steak-eating contest.
This is the type of non-threatening, mostly non-thinking comedy that could be enjoyed by many generations after a holiday meal, provided that nobody minds just a pinch of Rogen’s dirtier side and a generous helping of Streisand’s most sentimental cheese.