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Review: The Guilt Trip


It's not often that we get a new film from the legendary Ms. Barbra Streisand, and when we do it's usually far beneath her talents (ie. Little Fockers). Fortunately Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) utilises Babs' comic nuances to utmost effect in warmhearted comedy, The Guilt Trip.

The Guilt Trip sees a struggling chemist, Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) venture on a road-trip with his overbearing mother, Joyce (Streisand), in an attempt to sell his latest cleaning creation to US stores. However, tensions between the pair begin to heighten due to a variety of bouts of bad luck.

Dan Fogelman's (Crazy Stupid Love) screenplay is chock full of moments that audiences will immediately relate with their own mothers - from Joyce's insistence that Andy asks about coupons when hiring a car to her continual questions about his romantic life. Despite cute moments of comedy, Fogelman has a tendency to become over-sentimental - hardly a shock when one considers his background in Disney features. This excessively sentimental drive in the narrative, comes as a result of the character's inevitable fall out and make-up. Unfortunately, the emotional agenda of The Guilt Trip seems to take priority over the more entertaining comic elements.

However, subtle performances from Streisand and Rogen keep The Guilt Trip firmly grounded. Streisand shows her gift for comedy throughout, gaining laughs from Joyce's love for eating M&Ms in bed and listening to audio books about English sex-changes. The actress brings a charming sense of humility to Joyce, serving as one of the most adorable film characters in recent years. Rogen holds his own against the might of Streisand, with the actor given the opportunity for the occasional wise-crack and chance to reflect his comic skills.

One cannot deny that The Guilt Trip is excessively sentimental, but occasional moments of clever humour in Fogelman's script keep things ticking along. However, the star of The Guilt Trip is Barbra Streisand who plays Joyce with an unforgettable warmth and charm. Excuse us we're now off to play Night of My Life on loop.

RATING: 3.5/5

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