This Week In Home Entertainment: The Guilt Trip, The Notebook And Silver Linings Playbook
The Guilt Trip Blu-ray
Director Anne Fletcher isn’t exactly known for making life-changing comedies. In The Guilt Trip she works outside of her normally romantic-oriented box to tell a road trip story featuring a mother and her son. Fletcher’s best decision was nabbing Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand for the roles of inventor Andy and his overbearing mother, Joyce. The two are both good at chatting off the cuff, and have a familial chemistry you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the veteran actress and the young comedian.
The bonus features seem to think this movie is remarkable because Dan Fogelman’s script is based on a real-life road trip he took with his own mother. Most of the events in the film actually occurred, and while that’s a sweet story to tell in a bonus segment, I’m not sure following the same order of events helps The Guilt Trip, at all. The larger overarching plot follows Andy dragging his mother on this trip in order to reunite her with a love from her past, but this isn’t enough to supplement the lengthy on the road shots we must suffer through during most of the film. The plot needs to be zanier, or at least less car and weather-driven.
That isn’t to say The Guilt Trip doesn’t offer plenty of humorous moments. There’s an eating contest scene straight out of an episode of Man vs. Food and a moment when mom and son drive hours and hours out of the way in order to stop at the Grand Canyon, which doesn’t end up being the big event they had hoped. The rapport between Streisand and Rogan is extremely likable, and helps us to buy in to the idea that they are family members.
The Guilt Trip’s biggest problem is that it’s unpleasantly predictable. We know roughly where the film is going the entire way through and no amount of witty banter can change that fact. Because of this, The Guilt Trip is destined to never reach beyond an average film, but it also guarantees the movie is not terrible. If you like both of the film’s leads, The Guilt Trip is a pleasant comedy that is probably worth a rental or digital download. Some of the extras are great, however, so if you did like the film, it may be worth it to nab a copy over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: I’m a sucker for the “what-if” possibilities of alternate anythings, and I really liked the alternate opening sequences and, especially the alternate ending of the film, which teases a romance between Andy and “other Joyce” (Ari Graynor). I’m not sure introducing that new plot would have helped this film any, but I liked seeing Andy get his happy ending, just as his mother did.
Comedies usually offer some of the best bonus footage out there due to the improving comedy actors are usually good with. While some of the bonus features, including “Real Mother of A Road Trip” offer more candid filming experiences, some of them are just flat out there to offer laughs. You can check out the rest of the extras, below.
Other Special Features:
“Barbra & Seth”
“Guilt Trip: Real Mother of a Road Trip”
“In the Driver’s Seat”
“Not Really A Road Trip Movie”
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