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George W. Hill
Los Angeles based organic chemist Andrew Brewster has just sunk his life savings into developing and now marketing an environmentally friendly, effective and human safe home cleaning product. Despite these attributes, he is having problems making any sales to distributors and retailers. He has planned a cross country business trip via automobile to make sales pitches to various companies along the way, starting in New York City and ending in Las Vegas. While in New York, Andy plans to stay with his overbearing mother, New Jersey residing Joyce Brewster, with who he has a love/hate relationship and who he does not see very often anymore. He doesn't want to tell her of his sales failures thus far as he knows she will only add more than her two-cents into the matter, which he doesn't want. Joyce's focus of attention is on Andy's single status and what looks to be his stalled romantic life, out of which again he wants her to stay. Widowed when Andy was eight, Joyce has never remarried or ...Written by
During the credits, more is shown of Andy and his mother dealing with each other during the long drive, that is, several of Rogen and Streisand's comic improvisations. The 'mini-screen' moves a few times to make room for the credits. See more »
"You want to drive cross-country in a car with me?" Joyce Brewster (Barbra Streisand)
Trust me –you don't want to take this trip. The problem with The Guilt Trip is that most of the lame comedy takes place in a subcompact car with two not very interesting characters, a Jewish mother, Joyce (Streisand), and her son, Andrew (Seth Rogen). You will want to get out as soon as you can, and you will feel guilt for wasting 95 minutes.
Not that more of that clichéd Jewish guilt wouldn't have been welcomed after the first act's slow setup (Andy asking mom to join him on a trip out West). Not even those stops along the way would relieve your boredom, given the pedestrian set pieces in a strip bar, a steak house, and a casino, among other seemingly random choices except that inventor Andrew visits those cities to hawk his edible cleaning product.
You can amuse yourself by counting the number of product placements ("They know me at The Gap!"), some from K Mart, Costco, Budget Rental Cars, and other businesses. For those companies, their products come off very well from Andrew's tepid pitch. Only when he finds his selling voice, does the film come alive and Rogen awakens from a sleepy first hour for him.
Making comedies is a Las Vegas gamble: Witness the uneven but far more amusing This is 40, a Judd Apatow production that at least tries to be witty about social issues for aging youngsters. The Guilt Trip tries one bit—the overbearing Jewish mother and wimpy son—and doesn't get it right (Whatever happened to that Oriental girl?").
Now I'm feeling guilty.
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