In Guilt Trip, Barbra Streisand plays Joyce. She is the widowed mother of Andy (Seth Rogen), who is nerdy and grumpy. He is a chemist and inventor who go on a cross-country road trip to find distributors for his new organic cleaning fluid. But before he embarks on his journey, he stops by his mom in New Jersey to say good bye.
The mother and son have several issues, including Andy’s failure with women and her overbearing insistence that he hydrate all throughout the day. He learns that she has an old boyfriend in San Francisco and invites her to join him in his road trip.
This starts the eight day journey of the odd couple. It is highlighted by Joyce’s Gap-withdrawal and her insistence on being present in his product presentations. Joyce is a generic Jewish mother. Screenwriter Dan Fogelman modeled the character on his own mother. Yet the banter between the mother and son lacks Yinzer or Yiddish energy.
Director Anne Fletcher has the daunting of directing one of the most enduring icons in American showbiz industry. She treats Barbra Streisand like a monument instead of a normal mother, which made her look stiff in the movie.
Guilt Trip is a cross country movie but Barbra Streisand agreed to do it if she didn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes from her house in Malibu. This made the movie unrealistic. Seth Rogen is also dwarfed by Barbra Streisand’s presence. He even looks older than her. Streisand looks around 50 years old rather than 70 years old.
Guilt Trip is not a terrible movie. Its dialogue is entertaining and it has its funny moments. Barbra Streisand is always enjoyable, even if the movie is not. You wouldn’t hear her sing in this one but she delivers what is asked from her by the script.