Like Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law, Barbra Streisand has returned from a long acting hiatus to star in what must be the least challenging middle-of-the-road fare she could find. Aside from small supporting roles in Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers, Streisand hasn’t starred in a movie since 1996, and The Guilt Trip is not exactly a promising comeback.
It’s a bland, sitcom-style story about an overbearing New Jersey mother (Streisand) who nags her inventor son (Seth Rogen) over the course of a weeklong road trip. Streisand and Rogen both play obnoxious people obnoxiously, and the movie is completely devoid of worthwhile supporting characters (no other actor shows up for more than a few minutes). The jokes are weak, the plot is painfully predictable, and neither star brings any unique qualities to the performance. The movie could have been made with random basic-cable actors, and it would have been just as unremarkable.