I have had a rocky relationship with Seth Rogan. As a viewer of his films I mean. I like him in general, I like his awkward quirkiness, his line delivery, and I think he is best when he is genuine and heartfelt. He has the reputation of being the ‘weed guy’ in movies and is often cast as a pot head. From interviews with him I have seen, I take it this comes from his real life hobbies so I guess it is appropriate, but I honestly think he is best when they do not focus on that. I loved him in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, The Green Hornet and 50/50. Even though he was a pothead in a few of these, there was more to him that that fact. In his latest film, The Guilt Trip, he teams up with screen legend Barbra Streisand and once again leaves the pot behind.
Andy Brewster (Rogan) is an inventor who has discovered a household cleaner that is totally natural but cleans better than anything on the market. He is heading out on a last ditch attempt to sell his product on a cross country road trip and has decided to bring his overbearing mother (Streisand) along for the ride. He has secretly planned to reunite his mom with a lost love at the end of the trip, but couldn’t have anticipated how much their relationship would be tested travelling 3,000 miles together in an economy car. But along the way they may both discover things they didn’t know about each other and about themselves.
I honestly was expecting a very typical comedy with The Guilt Trip, and for the most part, the story isn’t spectacular, but the performances by Rogen and Streisand elevate the movie beyond what it might have ended up being. Rogen has some classic one liners and some great reactionary moments to Streisand while still retaining a good honest sense of heart at the same time. And Streisand who could easily have been a one note character here gives Joyce authentic personality and depth. It is the interaction between the two actors that really makes The Guilt Trip work.
The Blu-ray from Paramount is a nice clean transfer of a studio comedy. As usual with comedies, the picture doesn’t scream hi def, but the clarity, color and detail are all top notch with a nice natural looking presentation. A nice little surprise, The Guilt Trip is definitely worth taking.
Available Now on Blu-ray and DVD.