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The Guilt Trip - Film Review

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by Happy Mom (subscribe)
I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 4th 2013
Rate your relationship with your parents after this movie
Recently, a movie by the name of "The Guilt Trip" starred two of my favourite actors: Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen. Barbara Streisand has been charming audiences with her acting and singing performances for decades and is ever popular. I have seen a few movies and stand-up comedy performances of Seth Rogen, and he is very funny. In fact, his comedy acts have a message, just the way I like it. Although this movie is classified as comedy, I have to admit that you really have to force a laugh; a few giggles and smiles are possible. So if you are looking for a hardcore laughing till you can't breathe kind of movie, this will not make it to that list.

Mom and Son
Joyce (Barbra Streisand) and Andrew (Seth Rogen) (Image from

Who has the perfect relationship with their mother? I am not aware of many people who can claim such a relationship. The main character of the movie, Andrew/Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen), is a proud organic chemist who lives in California, and has concocted an organic cleaner called Scieoclean. He has invested 5 years of his career in developing and trying to market the product, but has not been able to break through to the mainstream market as of yet. Joyce Brewster (Barbara Streisand) is the all-adoring mother of Andy and lives in New Jersey. She loves her son to the point where it is rather annoying to Andy and expresses it by leaving countless voicemails for her son, and introducing him to her circle of friends on the same night that he arrives for a visit with her.

Mom and son
Joyce and Andrew at the airport (Image from

During the visit, Joyce opens up to Andy and reveals the story of her first love "Andrew" who she named her son after. Andy, realising his mother is single (did not marry since she became a widow, when Andy was only 8 years old) and might still be in love with Andrew, seeks him out on the internet and learns that he lives in San Francisco. Since Andy is driving cross country to make several stops along the way to try and sell his product, he reluctantly asks his mother to join him on the journey with the objective of pairing her and Andrew up in San Francisco, without informing Joyce of his true intent. Joyce is overwhelmed when Andy asks her, and willingly says yes to the proposal.

Mom and son at the canyon
Andrew and Joyce having a good laugh at a pitstop at Grand Canyon (Image from

Thus begins a journey, where mother and son share the driving, forced to share a confined space for several days and nights, and are annoyed by each others' habits. They begin to communicate, and learn about each other things that they may not have wanted to share otherwise, but eventually learn to respect each other ever more, for each revelation brings out an aspect of their personality they would not have known. There are some funny moments, for instance when Joyce sees a hitchhiker, and warns her son never to pick one up for fear that they are all rapists. However, Andy is startled to see a hitchhiker in the back seat when he wakes up from a snooze, wondering why his mother contradicted herself. In another scene, the mother and son pair make a pit stop at a steakhouse for lunch, where they offer a $100 platter which includes a large piece of steak and accompaniments for free if the person who orders it can finish everything within an hour. Joyce happily takes on the challenge saying "Never say no to free food". It is quite amusing to see her go through that platter.

Joyce eating a steak
Joyce rejoices at finishing the steak (Image from

I liked the movie because it touches upon various issues that exist in inter-generational relationships between parents and their adult children. The mother expects her son to love her in a similar way as she showers her love on him. The son expects the mother to be more independent and less annoying. The son also expects his product to hit through the roof with sales, but refuses to accept his mother's advice when his meetings with prospective distributors are unsuccessful, believing that he can make it on his own. Both have some pre-conceived notions about one another, which are eventually removed when they begin to talk about what they think and how they feel.

This movie is captivating enough to engage the audience, but not really a comedy. It has a few surprises for those who choose to watch it. If you have nothing else lined up, I would recommend this simple and subtle movie, with a rating of "M" for mature audiences.
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Why? Enjoy an afternoon watching a movie
When: At your own leisure
Where: In the comfort of your own loungeroom
Cost: The cost of renting a DVD or BluRay
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