Barbara Streisand hasn't appeared as the lead in a movie since 1996 when she directed, produced and starred in The Mirror Has Two Faces, a film which received three Golden Globe nominations. In The Guilt Trip, alongside Seth Rogen, it's safe to say that success wont be repeated.
The premise of the film is a mother and son on a cross country road-trip together. The son, Andy (Rogen), is travelling to try to sell his 'nontoxic cleaning liquid' to commercial clients and noting that his mother, Joyce (Streisand) hasn't dated since her husband died when Andy was 8, invites her along for the ride and to find one of her old flames. It's a very simple story line which could have lent itself to subtle comedy, but instead reviews so far say that it's dated. As the Huffington Post noted, it "forgot to pack the laughs," adding that "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."
It has an abysmal 40% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes - which makes it decidedly rotten. The LA Times said that "One of the few points of interest in the film is trying to decide which car scenes were done with a towing rig and which were green-screen process shots." In distinct contrast Time Magazine enjoyed it, because "we all know and like a Joyce Brewster (or dozens of them)."
The team the made the film, on the whole is pretty good. Streisand's track record is excellent, Seth Rogen's filmography is also fairly good and the screenplay for The Guilt Trip was written by Dan Fogelman who is responsible for the scripts of Tangled and Pixar's Cars. However, this whole thing is clearly a flop. While it's a pleasure to see Streisand back on the big screen, it's a shame it's not in something that's worth the watch.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.