This time of year, when families gather from far and wide and want to take in a film, there is a plethora of movies to chose from at the box office. Much to my pleasant surprise, facing the confounded mediocre choice of films at the Cineplex has been better than expected.
This is exactly what happened to me at the recent screening of the comedy The Guilt Trip starring a beloved Barbra Streisand and comedy king Seth Rogen.
The unlikely pair play the roles of Joyce, a divorced M&M-in-bed-eating consummate Jewish-like mother, and Andy, her 30 year-old over-grown son with the only accomplishment to his name is a degree from UCLA.
The mother-son duo embark on a cross-country road trip as Andy tries to sell his Eco-friendly cleaning products with awkward sales pitches at stops from Texas to Las Vegas.
The film is largely a behind-the-wheel reel full of gags and many pearls of wisdom for both parents and grown children to soak up. One scene that might induce a gag reflex features our petite singer pounding down four pounds of steak at a Texas joint.
The laughs come from the perfectly relatable scenarios depicted in this film most parents have experienced with their own offspring; smothering, preaching, feeding, over-protecting, and when the situation really called for it, a good shouting-back-into-submission-with-expletives lecture coming from the ageless Streisand.
Besides the witty banter between mother and son, the insight into the precarious relationship that parents have to cope with growing children; disrespect, annoyance, and intolerance for aging parents are so relevant, you just might recognize yourself in either of these roles.
I loved this film for the many situations we can identify ourselves in and hopefully learn not to repeat after seeing how utterly ridiculous a parent-grown-child relationship can be.
The Guilt Trip turns out to be a journey full of enlightenment for both rather washed up souls and the audience. It is a feel-good film with a not-so-predictable ending.
The Guilt Trip is also the perfect holiday movie because there is no Santa Clause, Nativity Scenes, Menorahs, or what have you to remind you of your special holiday traditions. The only traditional reminders in this film are that being a parent never ceases… nor does being a child. It is our attitudes that need to adjust as the years advance both kids and parents at the same time.
There was a time most of us would see anything with Barbra Streisand in it. If you are a fan of the iconic singer like I am, then The Guilt Trip will not disappoint (except if you wanted to hear her sing, which she doesn’t!).
Going to the movies during the holidays went the way of fancy travel a long time ago; forget getting dressed up to go to the movies, we barely have to roll out of our matching plaid pajamas and fuzzy socks to go to the cinema. Well, if this is how you chose to go take in The Guilt Trip with the family this holiday movie season, then you’ll fit right in with the film’s dress code: relaxed, amusing, warm and fuzzy.
The Guilt Trip opens in theaters December 19, 2012.
Rated PG-13 Only a couple of expletives in the entire film.
Run Time: 96 minutes
Comedy with Seth Rogen, Barbra Streisand and Yvonne Strahovski.
Distributor: Paramount Studios