The Guilt Trip
OK so it isn’t one of her best. It’s still Barbra. And even at 71 (!), Barbra has still got it. I’m kind of surprised that Barbra agreed to star in The Guilt Trip given its so-so script, but she did, and I have to admit I enjoyed the movie.
Be warned: It’s not a great film, or even a good one. The Guilt Trip is about an overprotective widow and her oppressive relationship with her son (Seth Rogan, looking mildly put upon throughout the whole movie). They drive across the country together. The movie, like the road trip itself, starts out badly but improves. The Guilt Trip is watchable, several scenes are downright enjoyable, and the end is poignant.
One thing that often goes unacknowledged when it comes to Barbra Streisand is that she is a good actress. The character she plays in this movie is not just the stereotypical Jewish mother – there’s some of that, sure, but Joyce is a little frail, sometimes scared, yet excited to try new things. I think Barbra’s actually better when she isn’t directing herself. In The Prince of Tides, for example, her character was always perfectly lit, dressed impeccably, perfectly manicured, etc. etc. Lowenstein was a little much. One of my favorite Barbra movies is What’s Up Doc (if you haven’t seen this movie, rent it immediately). The dinner gets my vote for Funniest Movie Scene Of All Time.
There’s apparently a great play out in New York about a fan’s love of Barbra, which I would love to see (Jonathan Tolins’s “Buyer and Cellar). We are a strange bunch, Barbra fans. When we think of Barbra, we usually think of That Voice. A gift to be sure – but so are many of her films.
The Guilt Trip ** (out of ****)
What’s Up Doc **** (out of ****)