Film review: The Guilt Trip (12A)


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The Independent Culture

Diva meets doofus in a road comedy that needs direction. Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen offer an intriguing contrast in comic styles of different eras – she came of age in 1970s screwball (What's Up, Doc?), he's the tubby poster-boy of Apatovian gross-out – and for a while their pairing as mother and son scores points.

Streisand plays the kvetching Jewish mom who puts the mother into smother, Rogen's a scientist failing to sell his non-toxic cleaning product to the big supermarkets. "Your show's gonna be great!" she tells him. "It's called a pitch, ma."

Somehow they end up on a cross-country trip together, in the course of which they bicker, banter and tell each other a few home truths – and you just keep wishing they'd given them better lines to say.

And better things to do – watching Streisand eat four and a half pounds of steak at a Texas roadhouse (Americans still think greed is heroic) is enough to make you, if not her, sick.