Friday, 12 July 2013

The Guilt Trip

Lowdown: A mother and son road trip movie.
Occasionally I get to watch a movie that I find to significantly defy my expectations. I usually remember these events to be good, because the journey of finding what the film is about while leaving my expectations behind has a lot going for it. On the other hand, the discovery of what a movie actually is about is an open invitation for disappointments.
The Guilt Trip is a case in point. Barbara Streisand and all, I had every reason to believe this is going to be one of those Jewish mother tormenting her son for the purpose of inducing some good laughs on my side. For personal reasons such a movie would seem to hit me at the right time; it would also provide me with further opportunities to discuss the personal in this blog I run, where I review movies through my personal prism. I was found wrong, though; there may be a bit of a Jewish mother element to proceedings, but The Guilt Trip’s falls firmly under the road trip genre.
Our story starts with son Andrew (Seth Rogan), who left his New York mother Joyce (Streisand) for West Coast studying. Now a smart dude, Andrew invented a new cleaner spray made out of entirely natural components. Problem is, it’s hard to find a company or a chain store to sell it. So he embarks upon a coast to coast sales trip starting from his mother, whom he unnaturally recruits to the cause. With that uneasy collaboration in place, it is time for some painful bonding and self discovery to take place.
Alas, of the two options mentioned above for a movie defying my expectations, The Guilt Trip falls under the lesser category. I found affairs to be of the typical Hollywood grade: rather mundane and much too predictable. Other than the core idea of going on a road trip with your mother, The Guilt Trip does not have much to offer (with the mildly interesting exception of the chemistry between the two leads).
It turns out the movie does have a surprise ace up its card in the shape of a short appearance by my favorite actress, Yvonne Strahovski. Taking on the role of Andrew’s mythical ex and the mother’s solution to Andrew’s current and ongoing lack of love interests, Strahovski proves (yet again) she is ready for big time if only given the opportunity. The Guilt Trip doesn’t provide that.
Overall: A mediocre affair that is not saved by its rare better moments. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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