REVIEW: THE GUILD TRIP
SYNOPSIS: Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, and who better to accompany him than his overbearing mother Joyce. After deciding to start his adventure with a quick visit at mom’s, Andy is guilted into bringing her along for the ride. Across 3,000 miles of ever-changing landscape, he is constantly aggravated by her antics, but over time he comes to realize that their lives have more in common than he originally thought. His mother’s advice might end up being exactly what he needs.
REVIEW: It takes a special kind of creative insanity (and I mean this in the nicest possible way), to take the traditional American road-trip and turn it into a road-trip from ‘hilarious-hell.’ Just imagine being an only child and being stuck alone with your overbearing mother on an eight-day cross-country odyssey. Director Anne Fletcher and Writer/Co-Writer Dan Fogelman certainly had their work cut out for them with this one. This movie is simply one big comedic torment for anyone who fears being stuck anywhere with their parents, for an extended period of time.
Needless to say, there is nothing particularly ground-breaking about the premise, as numerous flicks have previously shown friends and/or family members bonding over the crazy misadventures that they encounter on a road-trip. However, the movie does show that Seth Rogen and Streisand share an unlikely strong on-screen chemistry as they trade one-liners, and express touching moments of family gratitude and appreciation. And as the title might suggest, the plot seems to be like a rolling collection of pit-stops with cheap motels, the always obvious Grand Canyon detour, the almost always Vegas casino regret and many insanity-ridden interspersed scenes with mother-and-son stuck together driving each other over the edge.
As to be expected, Rogen emits his instantly recognizable trademark pessimistic laugh and bites on his lip a lot in the manner of a grown man who would (if he weren't behind the wheel), roll his eyes back in his head at his mother's constant nagging and “button-pushing.“ However, fortunately The Guilt Trip is not about Rogen and his antics... it seems to be more about mother/son attempting to rekindle that broken relationship that inevitably occurs during the early years of the empty nest period.
Barbara Streisand, Barbara Streisand! If you liked her in Meet the Parents/Fockers, then I’m quite certain you’ll love her headlining this latest release. She plays the unquestionably annoying “Queen-bee“ who doesn’t exactly eat her son (Rogen) alive, but certainly chews and naws at him, smothers him, babys him, and generally spews an encyclopedia of neurotic behaviors that have come to represent a devouring, guilt-inducing mother of an only-child. She is excellent in this role and this is arguably some of her best comedic work in years.
Overall this flick seems to be more of a “B-movie“ gone good, rather that a big-budget movie gone bad. It is very interesting on many levels and I enjoyed quite a lot of “laugh out loud“ moments and would recommend it as a good date-night movie. It certainly deserves three and a half stars out of five for clean family-friendly entertainment.
By Movi-Man Stan
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