The Guilt Trip

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 69
  2. Negative: 6 out of 69
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  1. Jan 25, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers. 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. Collapse
  2. May 21, 2013
    5
    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
  3. Dec 22, 2012
    6
    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.
  4. Dec 21, 2012
    6
    The premise is simple and full of promise: A not-too-successful son (Seth Rogen) travels across country with his domineering mother (Barbra Streisand). With two comic greats, what could go wrong? A lousy script, that's what. While their chemistry is good, most of the lines and situations simply don't provoke laughter. There are a few chuckles sprinkled about and plenty of energy. You justThe premise is simple and full of promise: A not-too-successful son (Seth Rogen) travels across country with his domineering mother (Barbra Streisand). With two comic greats, what could go wrong? A lousy script, that's what. While their chemistry is good, most of the lines and situations simply don't provoke laughter. There are a few chuckles sprinkled about and plenty of energy. You just keep waiting for the hilarity to begin and it just sputters along. The predictable personality conflicts and emotional moments are predictable and pedestrian. I'm a fan of both actors, but this good-natured attempt simply never gets into full comic drive. Stay thru the credits for the outtakes, which feature some of the best lines in the film. Expand
  5. Dec 21, 2012
    6
    Full disclosure: on July 13, 1974 I sat down at a table in Lloyd
  6. Jul 19, 2013
    5
    It looked promising but in the end this movie falls short. The story is about a young man going on a road trip with his mother whom he finds annoying. The humor is lacking, but what keeps you mildly interested in the film is the emotional moments, but even they aren't the greatest. The movie goes through many long and dry periods before something interesting happens. When the movie doesIt looked promising but in the end this movie falls short. The story is about a young man going on a road trip with his mother whom he finds annoying. The humor is lacking, but what keeps you mildly interested in the film is the emotional moments, but even they aren't the greatest. The movie goes through many long and dry periods before something interesting happens. When the movie does have a sweet or touching moment it makes the whole movie a little more interesting, but these moments are few and far apart. All in all The Guilt Trip ends up being about as enjoyable as a long road trip, in that there are some spectacular and great moments, but those moments are separated by long and uneventful stretches of boredom. The Guilt Trip just might not be worth your time. Expand
  7. Oct 3, 2013
    6
    As far as road trip movies go, it could be argued that this film is nothing special, except that it stars Barbra Streisand in almost every scene, which make is extremely special indeed. Still beautiful at 71, and having gained a little weight which just serves to make her more endearing, Streisand still has that translucent, ivory skin that has an almost ethereal quality to it, and sheAs far as road trip movies go, it could be argued that this film is nothing special, except that it stars Barbra Streisand in almost every scene, which make is extremely special indeed. Still beautiful at 71, and having gained a little weight which just serves to make her more endearing, Streisand still has that translucent, ivory skin that has an almost ethereal quality to it, and she still frosts her hair to perfection. Her character is fascinating because, if I’m not mistaken, this is the closest she has come to giving her audience what may very well be a small glimpse of her real self. Although her character is certainly meant to be exaggerated and comical, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, there appears to be a momentary unveiling of Streisand in the real-life roles she has played as wife, lover, and mother. Especially mother. Especially Jewish mother.

    As the mother of an organic chemist (played by Seth Rogan) in his late twenties, who has invented his own non-toxic cleaning product made entirely out of edible ingredients, Streisand’s character, Joyce, displays every kind of maternal sentiment when she gets to travel with her son on an eight-day cross-country road trip. The purpose of the trip is to sell her son's product to K-Mart, Costco, and other big distributors. Sometimes Joyce's maternal impulses are in direct conflict, since she is both neurotically possessive of her son’s love and attention (the father is deceased), and at the same time deeply troubled that her son is still unmarried. She tries to play matchmaker even as she tries to convince herself that she is all her son needs.

    She is overly nostalgic about the past, particularly about the days when her adult child was a little boy, and she falls asleep watching home videos. She fondly remembers when her little scientist used to do experiments in the basement wearing goggles that were four times bigger than his head. She loves to collect tchotchkes, and the ones with frog motifs are her favorite--her house is nearly overwhelmed with frogs. She frets that her son chose to leave his home with her in New Jersey to attend graduate school in California and fears that he did so to get away from her. She also has a fear of remarriage or connection with any other man because she never got over a true love who readily gave her up over thirty years earlier when she had an offer of marriage from the man who became her husband.

    The road trip is a time of confrontation with all her conflicting emotions about her son, and she is forced to confront the ghosts from her past. Seth Rogan is unusually sensitive and understated in this film; it would seem that working with Streisand brings out the best in him. And there are scenes where it is possible that the two of them are ad-libbing. The most entertaining scene is when Mom enters a restaurant contest to see if she can, within an hour, eat a full meal that includes a 4.5 lb steak. The prize is that the meal is free if she succeeds. Watching Streisand’s character eat like a horse is actually very entertaining (“food is love,” she tells her son), and if Streisand is anything like that in real life, you have to bless that girl’s healthy appetite. A must for die-hard fans of Barbra Streisand.
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  8. May 8, 2013
    4
    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.
  9. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    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.
  10. Sep 4, 2014
    5
    Probably one of the most unlikely of pairings, Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen find themselves complimenting one another quite well. The Guilt Trip is largely made out of crap; however, we do occasionally see the spark which we loved in Dan Fogelman's previous flick, Crazy Stupid Love.
  11. Dec 27, 2012
    4
    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.
  12. Dec 28, 2012
    6
    A good clean comedy that you can bring your kids too! This movie showed off more of Streisand's comedic side, rather than Rogen's. The humor is for all ages, which was nice because I had my mom and son with me to watch this one.
  13. Apr 28, 2013
    6
    It is way too better than what most people say, the good acting makes it so real and touching, but some scenes may bore, some scenes are sweet, but overall it is good, but not even near to a must watch, on the other hand, it is a good time, with some solid laughs.
  14. Jul 31, 2014
    6
    The movie was very enjoyable and funny, the perfomance from Barbra and Seth. You must have had a moment just as Seth's character Andy were your mother has embarressed you in public. This movie portrays that well and manages to make it rather funny. It wasn't the funniest movie I have ever seen though I had a couple of laughs throughout. I also got surprised that I recently got to know thatThe movie was very enjoyable and funny, the perfomance from Barbra and Seth. You must have had a moment just as Seth's character Andy were your mother has embarressed you in public. This movie portrays that well and manages to make it rather funny. It wasn't the funniest movie I have ever seen though I had a couple of laughs throughout. I also got surprised that I recently got to know that Barbra was 70 and as well as that I believe she was a perfect fit for this role, she did a incredible job with it if you ask me. Expand
  15. Jun 2, 2013
    4
    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.
  16. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    As an adult, being forced to spend an extended period of time with your mother can be a bit of an ordeal at the best of times. The Guilt Trip taps into this and transposes it into a road movie that survives the low points through the great chemistry between Streisand and Rogen, but falls just shy of being worth a second look.

    There's a lot to like about this film, in particular the way
    As an adult, being forced to spend an extended period of time with your mother can be a bit of an ordeal at the best of times. The Guilt Trip taps into this and transposes it into a road movie that survives the low points through the great chemistry between Streisand and Rogen, but falls just shy of being worth a second look.

    There's a lot to like about this film, in particular the way in which the two main characters interact with each other. Very rarely do the scenes feel rehearsed in any way, which gives it the tangible feel of a genuine relationship between mother and son. This goes a long way in helping to identify with the situations that arise and giving a sense of investment in the outcome. On top of this, it pushes the more comedic elements to the fore, showcasing the observational humour, which is very on point much of the time. It's rarely enough to inspire raucous laughter, but will frequently leave you with a knowing smile as the experiences of Rogen's Andy strike a chord of recognition. However, at some points these experiences can seem a little too familiar, interspersing the more engaging sections with a hollow disappointment.

    It's worth noting that Streisand puts in an impressive performance and is primarily responsible for the disarming honesty that some of the more dramatic scenes possess, but the movie treads a fine line between emotional content and cheesy sentimentality with varying degrees of success. On the whole, when it gets it right, it does so very well, but when it fails, it's very noticeable indeed. The soundtrack is the biggest culprit in this respect, giving some moments a much more contrived feel than they would otherwise have had. It's clear what the aim was in these instances, but it's piled on a little thick for my taste, and there were a few points that inspired a cringe. This is the major fault that drags the picture down as a whole.

    The plot is simplistic, but no worse off for it. There's nothing spectacular, but it's functional, and has just enough substance to serve as the backdrop for the two protagonists to play off each other. The film also comes across as fairly low budget, which is fine, but there are one or two glaringly obvious uses of green screen that are conspicuous in their low quality. It doesn't ruin the flick, but I found it somewhat distracting when they put in an appearance.
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  17. Oct 8, 2013
    6
    Amusing, but a little bit obvious at some parts. It is heartfelt and composed at places, but sometimes it tends to "veer off the road", to make a relevant reference. Streisand's performance is okay, and Rogen is his usual inconsiderate self, but you'll find yourself smiling at some point.
  18. Sep 30, 2013
    6
    The Guilt Trip is a solid movie, with some cool moments, and yes, the movie has some mistakes, but the big part of the time The Guilt Trip turns out to be fun.
  19. Nov 13, 2014
    5
    "The Guilt Trip" 10 Scale Rating: 5.5 (Average) ...

    The Good: Streisand and Rogen made a good mother/son combo and were believable. Rogen, who typically is very over the top, excelled as the straight man for a change. The story isn't a bad idea and the ending had some genuinely touching moments. The Bad: Extremely predictable from start to finish and not really very funny. You can
    "The Guilt Trip" 10 Scale Rating: 5.5 (Average) ...

    The Good: Streisand and Rogen made a good mother/son combo and were believable. Rogen, who typically is very over the top, excelled as the straight man for a change. The story isn't a bad idea and the ending had some genuinely touching moments.

    The Bad: Extremely predictable from start to finish and not really very funny. You can pretty much tell exactly what is going to happen ten minutes into the film as it follows the formula that all films of this nature follow. Doesn't bring anything new to the genre whatsoever and is pretty vanilla.
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Metascore
50

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
    40
    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
    40
    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
    42
    Overall, there is a fundamental lack of excitement or energy; it's a 95-minute movie that feels twice as long as "The Hobbit."