User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 67
  2. Negative: 6 out of 67

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  1. Jan 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2012
    The phrase "50% of success is just showing up" comes to mind. Seth Rogen takes this to 100% (minus the success part). Streisand is a skilled and professional comedian but her talents go utterly to waste. The movie is a dud.
  3. Dec 19, 2012
    Only a truly horrific actress like Barbara Streisand could suck all the funny out of Seth Rogen. This is less of a movie and more of a audio-visual beating. How did the screenwriter finish the script with any shred of self-respect? If you want to watch something that lacks any charm, wit, or humor then this is the movie for you. I'm running out of ways to say "terrible." Oh yeah, here's one more....if I had to chose between watching this movie and having my fingers cut off, I'd learn to type with my tongue. Expand
  4. May 8, 2013
    The jokes are very calm spirited, meaning that you'll understand them, but they won't be that funny. The story feels very empty and lacks energy. I'd say moms are guaranteed to like it the most, however.
  5. Jan 1, 2013
    Im sorry but I found this movie to be just dreadful. There is no reason to care about any of the characters or their problems and the story altogether. It was very boring, and the humor is very dry. I chuckled all but once in it's entirety. Just wait til this one hits the Red Box.
  6. Dec 30, 2012
    Absolute piece of **** I got dragged into this thing, and I gotta say, I didn't even smile. It's not funny, poorly written, Seth Rogen is miscast, and above all, it's astonishingly toothless. Despite having a decent concept, the film is way too focused on being inoffensive and 'real,' that it comes off as a soulless, lazy string of ever worst mother-child conversation ever. Skip it and see anything else in theaters right now. Expand
  7. Dec 27, 2012
    Seth Rogen's character was one dimensional at best. He grunted and groaned and moped through the whole thing. The tone shifted a lot--he wanted her to come, he didn't want her to come, she was a noodge, then not a noodge. Oy. Wait for video if you think you have to see it.
  8. Jun 2, 2013
    I really enjoyed this movie, however, it did not exactly meet my expectations. I think both Rogan and Streisand are extremely skilled, talented, and and great at what they do, but I definitely thought this movie was going to provide more laughs than it actually did. A little bit a of a let down.
  9. Dec 12, 2013
    Even though the two main actors have great potential together, it just turns into a bad mixture of lame comedy and annoying Mum cliches. Definitely could have been better.

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: Simon Braund
    Mar 4, 2013
    Crazy, Stupid, Love writer Dan Fogelman can't rebottle lightning with a humdrum comedy that doesn't play to its stars strengths.
  2. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Feb 9, 2013
    Bickering turns to bonding over the course of a predictable affair that only comes to life during a Texan steak-eating contest that has Babs ingest a mountain of meat.
  3. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Dec 23, 2012
    Overall, there is a fundamental lack of excitement or energy; it's a 95-minute movie that feels twice as long as "The Hobbit."