Apr 262013
 

Overall, I suppose if you have nothing better to watch on a Saturday night, you certainly could to worse than The Guilt Trip, plus if you’re a fan of either Rogen or Streisand, you might enjoy a bit more than I did. In the end, the movie does contain a couple of laughs and the pairing of the two stars was well done, but the script fails.

 

 

 


  The Guilt Trip(2012)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

 

Genre(s): Comedy
Paramount | PG13 – 95 min. – $39.99 | April 30, 2013

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Anne Fletcher
Writer(s): Dan Fogelman (written by)
Cast: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen

Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2012

DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, DVD Copy, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 33.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE – 2.5/5

Comedy mash-ups can be a mixed bag relying on its stars talents to excel or limit the material and thus the movie as a whole. Although it’s in the buddy-comedy genre, one can look at Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon series (heck, even the lacking fourth entry was mostly saved by the duo) and on the other hand you also had Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett in Hollywood Homicide or Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy in Showtime to see how it can falter without either chemistry or a solid storyline.

The latest is The Guilt Trip starring Seth Rogen playing Andrew “Andy” Brewster, a struggling entrepreneur who is having trouble selling his environmentally friendly cleaning product thanks in large part to a poor presentation. His mother Joyce, played by Barbra Streisand, still dotes over her only child calling him numerous times a day especially when he’s coming home before venturing on a road trip, a last grasp attempt to sell his product before the money completely runs dry.

The Guilt Trip

During Andy’s time back at home, the pair gets to talking about previous relationships when his mother makes a revelation that Andy’s name came from her first love, a man whom she wanted to marry but he didn’t and thus she married someone else. This of course surprises him but also allows for an opportunity. He decides to look the other Andy up and he still happens to work at the same company (now an executive) and, phoning his secretary, discovers the man is still single.

In the hopes of getting his mom off his back, as well as getting her into a relationship, something she’s avoided since his dad passed years earlier, Andy invites his mom on the road trip, an offer she gleefully accepts. But as soon as they’re on the road, oh the hijinks ensue. Joyce does some of her nagging and does things which annoy Andy and in the meantime, his interviews with the various companies continue to flounder. Along the way, the two run into a variety of problems like getting the car stuck outside of a strip club, and when inside they have a discussion involving his penis, and later some more conversations which are more frank and as in any comedy, some drama creeps up where the two fight. Much of the time, though, occurs in a cramp car and although some of those scenes can be funny, it also gets a bit annoying.

With regards to the two major players, I can’t fault them too hard. Seth Rogen refreshingly plays the straight man, albeit a jerk more than once, for once in a comedy leaving the more quirky moments and jokes for Barbra Streisand who herself holds her own. The two of them together at least makes the movie tolerable and perhaps the only saving grace if there is one.

The Guilt Trip

It’s worth mentioning that the film was actually written by Dan Fogelman based on his own experience doing a road trip with his mother. The reason I mention his name is because his last movie was Crazy, Stupid, Love which, while having a conventional ending relative to the rest of the movie, a delightful drama-comedy and one of the better films to come out of 2011. Here, however, it’s one joke filled out to a feature running time. To be fair, The Guilt Trip does contain at least one nice, even sweet, twist at the end, unfortunately it’s not enough.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, who previous helmed comedies 28 Dresses and The Proposal, The Guilt Trip stumbles almost out of the gate. The casting of Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, however, was not the problem but instead the entire movie is a one-note joke being the mother and her Jewish neurotic-isms which we’ve seen throughout time, in the majority of television sitcoms and on the big screen. At 90-minutes, the routine does get a tad worn out, although admittedly I did manage to chuckle a few times… when I wasn’t wincing at some of the more awkward moments.

The Guilt Trip

I suppose if you have nothing better to watch on a Saturday night, you certainly could to worse than The Guilt Trip, plus if you’re a fan of either Rogen or Streisand, you might enjoy a bit more than I did. In the end, the movie does contain a couple of laughs and the pairing of the two stars was well done, but the script fails.

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5

This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside are a standard DVD Copy and the download code for both the regular Digital Copy and the UltraViolet version.

Barbra & Seth (7:32; HD) – This is a simple behind-the-scenes featurette chronicling the team-up of Streisand and Rogen and their comedic talents.

Barbra’s World (8:21; HD) focuses on Streisand and the enjoyment the cast and crew had working with her. *Yawn*

Guilt Trip: Real Mother of a Road Trip (5:47; HD) is a sweet featurette that goes through another aspect of how the movie came about including writer Fogelman and the road trip with his own mother.

In the Driver’s Seat (7:15; HD) – This featurette puts a spotlight on director Anne Fletcher, her style and how she works with the actors.

Not Really a Road Trip Movie (5:16; HD) shows how the movie never left California and using visual effects and creative production design to make it seemed like they went from the East to the West Coast.

Alternate Openings (TRT 2:36; HD), Alternate Ending (2:08; HD) and Deleted Scenes (19:23; HD) are the scenes that were the original concept but ultimately changed or removed all together (there are 12 deleted scenes). The alt. ending shows the outcome for the characters including Andrew making it big and Joyce settling down.

Finally, the Gag Reel (5:09; HD) features your usual line flubs or on-set antics.


VIDEO – 4.0/5

The Guilt Trip rides in on Blu-ray with a 1080p high-definition transfer and presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. The video here doesn’t look the best compared with other recent releases but the detail levels still look pretty good, although not very sharp, and the color array is on the brighter side given the mostly light-hearted nature of the movie.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offered is certainly fine for a comedy but it’s not very dynamic. The bulk of the audio is more dialogue driven with Christophe Beck’s score coming in every so often to punctuate the jokes (or dramatic moments). Like the video, this lossless audio is adequate but hardly vibrant given it is a new movie, even if it in the comedy genre.



OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, I suppose if you have nothing better to watch on a Saturday night, you certainly could to worse than The Guilt Trip, plus if you’re a fan of either Rogen or Streisand, you might enjoy a bit more than I did. In the end, the movie does contain a couple of laughs and the pairing of the two stars was well done, but the script fails.

The Blu-ray does have a fair amount of features and the audio/video transfers aren’t anything to boast about.

 

 

Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Published: 04/26/2013

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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