The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip Trailer

There are bad movies. There are BAD movies. And then there’s The Guilt Trip, a cinematic abomination that offends by being heinously, obscenely bland. This is the blandest bland movie you’ll ever see, a comedy bereft of comedy and a road trip flick in which the most exciting occurrences feature a character eating a giant steak and getting her ears pierced. If that’s your idea of a great time at the multiplex, and if your enthusiasm for such an enterprise is only matched by your affection for Barbra Streisand, well, here ya go. If, like most of us, you demand actual content from movies when you shell out your ten bucks or so for a ticket, you’ll leave the theater in a state of heightened anxiety at best, and downright fury at worst. This lazy slop from director Anne Fletcher and writer Dan Fogelman stars Streisand as Joyce Brewster, overprotective mom to struggling inventor Andy (Seth Rogen). When Andy needs to drive across the country to pitch a cleaning product to various big box retailers and other major potential clients, he invites mom along for the ride. His reasons for doing so are too convoluted to be addressed here, but before the pair leaves their starting point in New Jersey, you’ll wish he hadn’t bothered.

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Are you more likely to see a movie in the theater if it’s followed by an exclusive, live Q&A event featuring that movie’s stars? What if it’s free? What if the Q&A is only via satellite and only temporally but not locally exclusive, and so no possibility of autographs or hugs? What if you still have the chance to submit a question to a relatively reclusive living legend of screen and song, such as Barbra Streisand? What if her answer is that she smoked pot with Peter Sellers? “I was married to Elliot [Gould] and he was with Britt Ekland,” the actress said while being broadcast to viewers in 20 theaters nationwide following a sneak preview of her upcoming film, The Guilt Trip, “and the funny thing is that we went to a restaurant and we started to riff on, like, should we have steak ice cream? It was funny at the time. It’s not funny now, because you’re not high.” People were turned away from the AMC Barrett Commons outside Atlanta on Sunday for this national sneak preview. But that happens all the time with complimentary, invite-style advance screenings. It’s hard to be sure whether there was more interest in this particular film and this particular showing of it that wouldn’t otherwise be there simply because the show was to be followed by a live interview with Streisand and her co-star, Seth Rogen. In my experience at film festivals and special events in New York, I’ve found that the […]

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The Guilt Trip Trailer

They’ve been a staple of comedy for as long as people having been waxing comedically about their problems: overbearing Jewish mothers. They poke, they prod, they have a uniform misunderstanding of everything that’s happening in the modern world, and they’re generally able to get under your skin like no one else you’ve ever met. But still…they’re mom. Sounds like a guy being annoyed by and then eventually growing closer to his overbearing mother could make for a good movie, huh? Well, that’s what the writer and director of The Guilt Trip, Dan Fogelman and Anne Fletcher, are hoping, because they’ve made a movie whose entire narrative seems to consist of a cross-country trip taken by a mother and son team played by Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen. So, how does it look? Not terrible. Certainly this is well-worn territory to anyone who’s seen more than a few minutes of stand-up comedy or watched more than a couple failed sitcom pilots, but the dialogue in this trailer appears to be amusing enough, and Streisand and Rogen both seem to be spot-on in their interpretations of the archetypical characters they’re playing. For Streisand fans especially, who haven’t been able to see her star in a movie that doesn’t have the word Fockers in the title for quite a while, this one should be a real treat.

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