The Guilt Trip

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The ending credits were funny. They had me wondering where the screenwriter was during the rest of this awful road trip picture.

I thought the trailers for this looked bad, but that it would have enough laughs to recommend as a predictable comedy. I was wrong. Until the last 15 minutes of this movie, nothing worked.

Seth Rogen can’t stand his nagging mother, a perfectly cast Barbra Streisand. I’m guessing even James Brolin hates being in a car with her for eight days. I certainly had enough after eight minutes, but stayed for the whole film.

guilt trip
This is the check Rogen paid me to be in this horrible film. That’s why I did it.

Rogen is a chemist that has an organic cleaning product he’s trying to pitch to various companies. He thinks his mom should date (his dad died years ago). She thinks he should date. That means when their car breaks down near a strip club, we get a dancer out there fixing the tire, and Babs pitching her son. That did give us the mildly funny line of Streisand saying the club “Smelled like strawberry gum.”

When she reads the sign of what the place is and says “Does that say tapas? Oh good, I love tapas,” you’re left wondering what the writer was thinking coming up with such dreck. We later hear tired jokes about Asians that Babs calls “Orientals,” and stories about his penis when he was a baby. This is the equivalent of going to see a stand-up and listening to him tell jokes about the clerk and 7-11 not speaking English.

Screenwriter Dan Fogelman gave us Crazy, Stupid, Love, which was pretty good. I have no clue what happened here.

Rogen really wants to bring mom because he found her first love, living in San Francisco. He wants to surprise her. Watching him act, I’m becoming more surprised. He has a very limited range, and I grew tired of his one facial expression.

Another complaint I have about this movie was that it started out with a great Black Keys song. One that we heard end the movie Limitless. Why don’t filmmakers take Quentin Tarantino’s advice that – once a movie uses a song, that song shouldn’t be used again.

This is one of the rare films where I actually noticed product placement. Strange.

I was all prepared to give this movie zero stars, but there’s a conversation about why Rogen went to UCLA that was endearing, and I thought the ending was really sweet. It got a few tears rolling down my face. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I wanted to lean into my friend every few minutes and say “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When is the ending gonna get here!?”

This gets 1 ½ stars out of 5.

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