Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen are the perfect comedy duo as they embark on one mother of a road trip! The plan for a quick stop at Mom's takes a sudden turn when an impulse compels Andy (Seth Rogen) to invite his mother, Joyce (Barbra Streisand), on an 8-day, 3,000 mile, journey across the country. But the farther they go, the closer they get and Andy may realize that they have more in common than he ever imagined.
After making his reputation as a performer of R-rated material, Seth Rogen seems an unlikely match for Barbra Streisand, iconic star of stage and screen, but The Guilt Trip works more often than not. Rogen plays Andy, an organic chemist who has poured his life savings into a nontoxic cleaning solution. While in New Jersey to make a pitch for Scieoclean--a name no one can pronounce--he pays a visit to his mother, Joyce (Streisand), who has plenty of friends, but gave up on romance when his father died (similarly, Andy threw in the towel when his first love fizzled out). In an unguarded moment, she tells her son that she named him after a college sweetheart, which makes such an impression that he invites her to accompany him across the country as he attempts to find a buyer for Scieoclean. Little does she know that Andy plans to set up a meeting with her and her old boyfriend in San Francisco, where he hopes she can put her unresolved feelings to rest, leading to a road-trip comedy in which the characters generate a combination of prickly humor and touching moments as they laugh, bicker, meet an attractive admirer, and learn to see each other as fully fledged human beings. Though Colin Hanks and Adam Scott appear briefly, The Proposal's Anne Fletcher relies primarily on her leads, who acquit themselves nicely. If The Guilt Trip never cuts as deeply as it could, it offers a pleasant enough ride. --Kathleen C. Fennessy