As a salesman, Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) makes a great scientist.
Having invented a cleaning product that almost sells itself – it's all-natural, totally safe and cleans amazingly well – he's stumbling at the last hurdle thanks to a clumsy pitch that involves a coconut, a small palm tree, a bottle of soy sauce and a fair amount of confusion.
Fortunately he still has the support of his New Jersey-based mother, Joyce (Barbara Streisand); unfortunately she's overbearing, clingy, and slow to take a hint.
Still, they do love each other and she seems kind of lonely since her husband died... twenty-odd years ago… so when she spills a secret about her first true love he promptly tracks her first boyfriend down to San Francisco then somewhat warily invites her alone on his cross-country sales trip.
This is basically a two-hander between Streisand and Rogen – other actors turn up, but never for more than a scene – and the chemistry between them goes a long way towards making this otherwise fairly slight film work.
It's rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but the fact it keeps the characters within the plausible bounds of their comedy types gives it a low-level charm that again, isn't a bad thing.
There are no surprises whatsoever here story-wise, but despite the plot developments all being completely predictable it's hard not to be glad to see the pair of them achieve their goals.
The generally gentle tone here suggests this is more for Streisand fans than Rogen ones and it's hardly going to top the resume of either, but as a film that aims to be little more than a pleasant way to pass ninety minutes this hits the target dead on.
3 out of 5
The Guilt Trip Australian release: 24th January, 2013 Official Site:The Guilt Trip Cast: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Julene Renee-Preciado Director: Anne Fletcher