The Guilt Trip, a creakily old-fashioned comedy that forgot to pack the laughs along with the nudging and kvetching. Possibly the first American film in decades in which characters drive cross-country courtesy of process shots out the back window, this mother-son yakfest blows a gasket and all four tires before it even hits the road.
When was the last time an overbearing Jewish mother giving her schlemiel of a son a hard time about not being married was a major component of a big Hollywood film? This sort of routine used to pop up all the time in American comedy but pretty much has vanished in the rearview mirror.
So to behold Streisands New York mom Joyce Brewster hectoring her homely visiting son Andrew (Rogen) about his myriad personal shortcomings is to revisit a musty mind-set that Dan Fogelmans woeful updates cant begin to freshen.
In terms of viewer relief from the constant haranguing, getting on the road held out the hope of changing scenery and a possible parade of lively supporting roles. Instead, we get process shots of the two leads crammed into the tiny car..
Even the most easy-to-please audiences will struggle to find more than a half-dozen laughs here, so bereft is the film of fresh comic ideas.