The Guilt Trip  (2012)    15/100

Rating :   15/100                                                                       95 Min        12A

Mearow. That is the sound of my soul weeping for the hours of life invested in this film which could have been more enjoyably spent cleaning the oven with a toothbrush. Let not my suffering be in vain. Supposedly based on a real road trip undertaken by screenwriter Dan Fogelman (‘Cars’, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’) with his mother years previously, it could be the film only exists as some kind of belated apology to his family, though it is quite likely he also watched ‘Due Date’ (10), which wasn’t bad, and thought, ‘Hey, let’s do exactly the same thing but with a guy and his mother, it’ll be hilarious!’. It’s not. The guy and mother in question here are Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand (for whom this is her first leading role since ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’ in 1996), and the most immediate problem is that Rogen plays someone so completely hopeless that it’s impossible to identify with him, as he plans a tour of the states to sell his cleaning product and very obviously bores everyone to tears with his sales pitch along the way. Cue mother who will eventually have the right approach to solve everything, but who will initially be rejected, and son who takes her along to secretly reunite her with an old flame, which will initially cause upset, before the realisation that her best intentions were at heart. If there was any comedy along the trip they take, which includes a visit to the Grand Canyon as in ‘Due Date’, then I missed it entirely, although it did bring to the fore that using the term ‘oriental’ is no longer politically correct. When did that happen? Is ‘Asian’ out the window too? The Red Dragon, it seems, is a little behind the times, this tends to happen when one is centuries old. Streisand’s character also has a gizmo that attaches to her handbag and allows it to dangle under tables so it needn’t be put on the floor, which was reasonably nifty, and indeed a supporting character picked up on it in preference to Rogen’s product. Thus I have extracted the only two points worthy of note from the film so that you may be saved from the tragic experience of watching it.

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