Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 20, 2012
    Anne Fletcher's lifeless comedy about an overbearing mother and her exasperated adult son, has no flawlessly delivered punch lines. It doesn't even have a hangnail.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 18, 2012
    Audiences deserve a resounding "mea culpa" for the embarrassing dreck, masquerading as comedy, in The Guilt Trip.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Dec 22, 2012
    The Guilt Trip is a solid movie with a few good laughs scattered throughout. I thought Rogen was pretty entertaining with his portrayal of a late 20s guy acting embarrassed with his mom around. Who among us haven't been in similar situations? I saw it with my mom so that made it even better. Do the same if you can whether in theaters or at home. Full Review »
  2. May 21, 2013
    Average movie in every aspect, has laughing moments, but mostly boring uninteresting story with unlikable main character. You won't remember this movie in a minute Full Review »
  3. Jan 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. As far as books on tape go, Andy couldn't have asked for a more emasculating literary experience. With mom in-tow, a long-distance business road trip, in which the 30-year-old organic chemist-cum-entrepreneur hopes to sell his eco-friendly cleaning wares to prospective clients, starts off uncomfortably when Joyce pops in the first CD of Middlesex, the 2002 award-winning novel about a hermaphrodite, an audio tome that infers something unspoken by the mother, as 17 discs of gender-bending literature plays over the car speakers. Joyce is not all that different from Beatrice, an aspiring writer forced into fifties-era domesticity in Albert Brooks' Mother, since both women unconsciously resent their sons. Growing up, John always posed a threat to the nascent artist, and even now, the middling sci-fi writer is still deemed as competition. The son finally identifies the source of their testy relationship upon discovering Beatrice's cracks at fictional prose, stored away in a lonely box. Joyce, on the other hand, despite working out her own familial kinks with Andy, seems wholly unaware of its central flaw. Moreover, The Guilt Trip itself sees equally oblivious to Joyce's latent anger, failing to see that her seemingly earnest hyper-maternal love is in fact, a programmatic endeavor to neuter her boy. Throughout Joyce's widowhood, Andy served as a painful reminder of what could have been, saddling him with an old flame's namesake. Andy's father, perhaps, held the same reactionary mindset that a woman's place is in the house. And in Mother, the film climaxes when John, finishing his mother's sentence, adjoins her, "You just," with an epiphany that Beatrice "...raised children who she hated for ruining her life and killing her chance at doing the one thing she loved." As for Joyce, consider that frog collection, which at first glance, just appears to be a middle-aged woman's love for knick-knacks. The mother, who otherwise seems proud that she raised a go-getter, quite possibly, resents his opportunities a woman in her time and place never had. On closer examination, the amphibians seem urgent and desperate, hiding a latent regret; she never became a biologist. The son mistakenly thinks his mother's love is unconditional. On Andy's first night back in Newark, while she sleeps, he glimpses an old home movie that he takes for granted as an affirmation of her devotion. "Of all the younger boys in the world, I'd choose you every time," Joyce tells her blossoming son, who, then and now, completely misses the double-edgedness of the venerating sentiment, in the sense that girls go unmentioned, an adumbration on the mother's part which manifests itself through her affectionate browbeating. By default, Andy is the pick of the litter, as boys go, but what Joyce really wanted was a daughter. For her, the Jeffrey Eugenides novel serves as wish-fulfillment. Whereas the mother(in Lucia Puenzo's XXY), who wishes Alex, an epicene teenager, that "she" remain her daughter by agreeing to surgery which would sever the gratuitous appendage, Joyce, unknowingly, never feared a potential alchemy of the sexes, naively admitting as much at a strip joint, where Andy learns how she kept a close eye on his then-purple penis. The atypical coloring would give her an excuse to transform the phallus into a vagina. Although Joyce gave up on this dream as he got older, she still performs a sort of nightly metaphoric castration on her bed, chomping down on M&Ms(read: testicles), a ritual that becomes more pointed in a motel room she shares with her adult son. Correspondently, golf balls symbolize male genitalia in Bong-Joon Ho's Madeo, where Do-Joon, a mentally-impaired young man accused of murdering a local schoolgirl, offers the testes-like equipment, a pair, with outstretched hand as payment to a barmaid. The gist being; he's virile. But his mother owns them, which is why he inscribes his name on one, emblematizing Do-Joon's deliverance from a very controlling nurturer. Andy, similarly asexual or worse, becomes the product of his mother's projections; becomes the girl Joyce wanted, when at her son's audition for the Home Shopping Network, the host quips, "...out of your secret box,"(read: vagina) while the debilitated guest unpacks "his" ingredients for the camera. As a young man, it's no wonder that Andy proposed to his high school sweetheart at a football field, the most masculine of venues. But is Joyce a Medea figure like Hye-ja, who tries to poison her then-boy with insecticide? Yes. To improve Andy's presentation, she encourages him to drink his product. Does Joyce know for sure it's safe? At the end of Madeo, the mother boards a bus, in essence, she is going on a guilt trip. Ultimately, both women find differing meridian points to alleviate their consciences. For Hye-ja, it's a spot on her thigh where she applies an acupuncture needle, and for Joyce, it's meeting Andy's surrogate. Full Review »