“This is definitely a story about a guy trying not to be really annoyed by his mother all the time,” Seth Rogen told USA Today about “The Guilt Trip” that stars the “Pineapple Express” star alongside Barbra Streisand. And while that annoyance takes center stage in the first trailer for the film, overall it has a heartening, charming vibe that is hard to deny.
Penned by Dan Fogelman (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.“) and directed by Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal,” “27 Dresses“), the story follows an inventor who wants his widowed mother to find happiness. To that end, he embarks on a road trip with his mother as he tries to sell his latest product, all while hatching a secret plan to reunite her with a long lost love. And while the material could lend itself to “The Hangover“-style hijinks, perhaps the biggest surprise is that this one doesn’t go for that obvious direction, with laughs wrung out of the simple scenario of a grown man and his fussy mother spending time together. And as the filmmakers seem to realize, there is a lot of mileage out of that concept. And Streisand looks like she matches Rogen every step of the way, in a rare role for an older actress.
“I told her, ‘There isn’t going to be a magic lens for you,’ ” director Anne Fletcher said, referring to how many actresses of a certain age are often filmed in flattering ways. “She is breathtakingly beautiful with a gorgeous body. But she had to wear shleppy mom clothes. Moms of this generation still style their hair and wear makeup, but they want comfort. We had to erase Barbra out of it.”
Co-starring Adam Scott, Colin Hanks, Yvonne Strahovski and more, “The Guilt Trip” lands in theaters Christmas Day.