The Guilt Trip: A Guilty Pleasure

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Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogan

The first thing I thought when this movie started was “Should Barbra Streisand really get top billing, I mean, what’s the last thing she’s been in? Meet The Fockers?” I mean, I know Seth Rogan isn’t an Academy Award winner by any means, but I didn’t have high hopes for this movie.

The second thing I thought was, “Damn, Barbra Streisand looks really good for her age.” Then the Jewish stereotypes started and within 10 minutes I was just as annoyed as Andy (played by Rogan) listening to the five billion voice mails Joyce, his mother (played by Streisand) left on his phone. If the writers wanted viewers who had nagging mothers who really meant well but were still too much to handle to tune out early, they probably got their wish. But, I stuck with it, and I was glad that I did.

Andy, a UCLA organic chemistry grad, is beginning a cross-country road trip to sell his hard-to-understand Scieoclean cleaning product. For some reason he decides to start where it all began—at home. His father died when he was 8 years old, leaving him and his mother to fend for themselves. And, Andy is Joyce’s world. She never even dated after his father died, and Andy doesn’t have much luck with the ladies either. After a poignant story told at the dinner table one night about an old boyfriend, Andy decides to take Joyce on the road trip (surprise).

The movie then starts to take a turn for the better, telling an atypical coming-of-age story, not about Andy as suspected, but about Joyce. Through laughs, fights, a 50-ounce steak eating competition and the ups-and-downs of life all told in one cross-country adventure, Joyce finds both herself and a renewed relationship with her son. And, there even is a moment at the end where I teared up.

The Movie Diaries gives The Guilt Trip a 6.5