'Guilt Trip' takes a road well-travelled

LIZ BRAUN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:49 AM ET

The Guilt Trip is a bauble about a mother and son driving across the country while driving each other crazy. It will never be mistaken for a great movie.

Something great is going on between Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, however. As the mother and son in question, they manage to overcome a lacklustre script and uninspired direction through their combined comic abilities. Or maybe it's sheer force of personality. At any rate, there are a few inspired moments in the movie and in each, these two appear to be improvising.

Rogen plays Andy, a chemist who has invented an all-natural cleaning product.

He has a half-dozen sales appointments across the country and intends to drive from the east coast to Vegas.

One day his widowed mother (Streisand) tells Andy about her first true love -- a man named Andy, after whom her son was named. There's obviously some unfinished business there. Curious, Andy quickly looks up his mom's old flame and discovers that the man is living in San Francisco. Now eager to play cupid, Andy pretends that he has business in San Francisco. Would mom like to come along on his cross-country road trip? Of course she would.

Mom is a nudge. Son is a nebbish. She wants to talk about his failed relationships. He just wants her to stop talking. She wants to help with his sales campaign. He just wants her to leave him alone. They have a big fight. They make up. About an hour into the movie, they relax in each other's company. There's a funny bit in Texas where mom decides to eat a 50 ounce steak to win a free meal. There's a funny bit at the Grand Canyon. They are cute in Vegas.

And then it's time to go to San Francisco.

The Guilt Trip is predictable and way too mild-mannered, but it hints at what could happen if Rogen and Streisand ever made a film together where the writing had some edge. This is, at best, a mediocre comedy, but fans of either actor may find something to like here.

This film is rated PG


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