Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Streisand is Guilty in Vegas

I have to admit I have an aversion to anything Streisand; I'm not really an admirer of her music or her ego. Yet, when I saw the trailer for "The Guilt Trip," I was intrigued, as it looked like it was ripe with comic potential.

Based on a two week road trip from New Jersey to Las Vegas (aka Adult Disneyland) taken by the film's screenwriter (Dan Fogelman) and his mother, "The Guilt Trip" is a comedy/drama that tackles the dysfunctional relationship that existed between the two.

Joyce Brewster (Streisand) calls her son Andy (Seth Rogen) on the phone multiple times a day, and wants nothing more than to find the right woman for him. Andy is attempting to sell a "green" cleaning product that is safe to drink. Even though Andy's product is amazing, his selling tactics are not. This just gives his meddlesome mother one more thing to make suggestions about.

The movie is fairly slow paced, but for those who can relate to a mother-son relationship such as the one between Joyce & Andy, you will find plenty to laugh about. Streisand and Rogan are perfectly cast, and the moments between them seem as real as possible in what is a fairly predictable (albeit enjoyable) storyline.

Albert Brooks' 1996 movie "Mother" is a much funnier (and more original) film, but I still enjoyed "The Guilt Trip" very much.

The scenes in Las Vegas were filmed at Caesars Palace, shown here in some photos that I took when I last stayed there in 2010.

Here are Streisand and Rogan in the lobby of Caesars Palace:

Over at The Jewish Journal, they interviewed Dan Fogelman about "The Guilt Trip":

Q: So why the title “The Guilt Trip?”

A: I was really close with my mom, but even then your mother has the ability to revert you to the bratty, 13-year-old version of yourself, no matter what your age is. It’s the ultimate, underlying subtext of any Jewish mother-son relationship — which is a son always getting annoyed and wanting to explode prematurely and holding it back, but at some point he loses that battle and says something nasty to her and then feels terrible about it. And then he walks away from that dinner or that visit feeling that he should’ve been nicer to her and it’s too late.

When I watch friends with their mothers, I’m constantly horrified at how short their fuse is with these women who seem, yeah, a little bit comedically a pain in the ass but not that bad in the grand scheme of things; yet with your own mother it’s amazing how quickly you can react to anything that pushes a button.

Q: You and your mom were already very close, but did the road trip transform your relationship in any way?

A: There was a point where I had the experience that Seth has in the film, where you start seeing your parent not just as a parent, but also as a human being for the first time. What the gist of the movie is about is that moment when a kid starts seeing their parent as more than just a creature who exists to parent them, and the moment when a parent starts seeing their son or daughter as a grownup who’s not just this thing that needs to be cared for by them. That’s what the journey of the movie is in a way.

Q: Your next film is “Last Vegas,” starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.

A: It’s about four buddies from Brooklyn who are now in their 60s. Michael Douglas, who plays the bachelor in the group, calls his buddies to say he’s getting married and they’re going to do one final bachelor party, for him, in Vegas – the last bachelor’s party they’ll ever do.

Great cast - plenty of potential. Might have to check that one out! I wonder how much money the Vegas Casinos get for allowing films to be made there, or if they have to pay the film companies for advertising?

See more Classic Movie & TV photos on my Classic Movie & TV photo web page.

1 comment:

K. Martinez said...

I like Barbra's work from the 60s and 70s. Especially her early comedies like The Owl and the Pussycat and What's Up Doc. Also Stoney End was one of my favorite songs from my youth.

I just don't have any interest in her movies past the 70s such as this latest outing.