The Guilt Trip (film)

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The Guilt Trip
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnne Fletcher
Written byDan Fogelman
Produced by
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Edited by
Music byChristophe Beck[1]
Distributed byParamount Pictures[2]
Release date
  • December 19, 2012 (2012-12-19)
Running time
95 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million[4]
Box office$41.9 million[4]

The Guilt Trip is a 2012 American road comedy film directed by Anne Fletcher from a screenplay written by Dan Fogelman, starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, who both also served as executive producers on the film.

Andy Brewster, going on a cross-country trip to try and sell the non-toxic cleaning product he developed, invites his mother to join him as unbeknownst to her he has the ulterior motive for them to meet her first love who he's named after.

The film was released on December 19, 2012, received mixed reviews from critics, and grossed $41 million on a production budget of $40 million.


Andy Brewster is a UCLA-graduate organic chemist and inventor. He wants to get his environmentally friendly cleaning product, ScieoClean, in a major retail store. However his sales pitches fall on deaf ears.

He visits his mother, Joyce Brewster, in New Jersey before leaving on a cross-country trip to Las Vegas, lying that a pitch to K-Mart went well so she will not worry.

While there, she reveals that he was named after Andrew Margolis, a boy she fell in love with in Florida, who she hoped would object to her marriage with Andy's father. However, he did not, making her feel she had never mattered to him. After a little research, he finds Andrew Margolis is alive, unmarried and living in San Francisco. He invites his unknowing mother on the trip, saying he wants to spend some time with her.

The road trip quickly becomes hard for Andy as his mother meddles in his life. After their car breaks down in Tennessee, Joyce calls Andy's ex-girlfriend Jessica, whom she insists he should get back together with, to pick them up. At a pregnant and married Jessica's house, she reveals that Andy proposed to her before college, and she turned him down, shocking Joyce.

Andy is glum afterward, and Joyce apologizes for calling Jessica, which he half-heartedly accepts. In Texas, he meets with Costco executive Ryan McFee. Joyce stays at the meeting, criticizing the product's labeling and name along with Ryan until Andy snaps at him. At a motel that night, a depressed Andy begins drinking, and Joyce attempts to make up with him. He gets angry, only to have her snap back and leave for a bar. Later, Andy attempts to retrieve Joyce and gets in a fight with a bar patron over her, receiving a black eye in the process.

At a steak restaurant the next day, the two exchange apologies, and Andy reveals that he is failing at selling ScieoClean. Joyce enters a steak-eating challenge and is noticed by cowboy-businessman Ben Graw, who gives her tips to help her finish the challenge.

Afterwards, Ben reveals he does business in New Jersey and asks her to dinner. Joyce, who has not been in a relationship since Andy's dad died years before, balks at the offer, so Ben merely leaves his number and asks her to call if she reconsiders.

Andy and Joyce begin to genuinely enjoy each other's company after, taking time to visit the Grand Canyon (which Joyce has always wanted to see) and having other adventures.

In Las Vegas, Joyce has such a good time that she suggests Andy leave her while he visits San Francisco, forcing him to reveal that he chose the city so she could meet Andrew Margolis. Joyce is very distraught, having believed Andy solely invited her to spend time with her.

Andy makes his pitch at the Home Shopping Network but finds that his science-based pitch bores the executives. Seeing Joyce, he takes her advice by talking about family safety and proving his product does not harm children. The CEO shows genuine interest in selling ScieoClean on the Network. Jubilant, Andy and Joyce decide to visit Andrew Margolis's house.

When they arrive, they meet Andrew's son, Andrew Margolis Jr., whom Andy mistook for the father. He reveals that his father died five years ago. Seeing Joyce's grief, he invites them inside. She asks if Andrew's father ever mentioned her, but he says he never did as he only confided personal information to their mother, who is in Florida.

Andrew then introduces his sister, who is also named Joyce. Joyce is overjoyed, believing that you name your children after someone you cherished and want to remember. This makes her believe that she mattered to Andrew.

Afterwards, they part ways at the San Francisco Airport; Andy to make his next sales pitch and Joyce back to New Jersey, where she arranges a date with Ben Graw. The two leave content and much closer than they had been.



"I've met her only a couple of times so far but she's really funny and nice and really reminds me a lot of my actual mother, which is very odd; my girlfriend's like a huge Barbra Streisand fan."

— Seth Rogen on Barbra Streisand.[5]

The film is based on a real-life trip by screenwriter Fogelman and his mother from New Jersey to Las Vegas years before.[6] The film completed production in late spring or early summer (May–July) 2011 under the working title My Mother's Curse.[6] In late 2011, the film was renamed The Guilt Trip.[7] It was released December 19, 2012.[4]

This film marks Streisand's first starring role since The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996.[8] She appeared in supporting roles in Meet the Fockers in 2004 and Little Fockers in 2010, as well as in a number of television series.


Box office[edit]

The Guilt Trip grossed $5.3 million in its opening weekend, coming in at No. 6. It ultimately grossed $37.1 million in the US and $4.7 million elsewhere, for a total of $41.9 million worldwide.[4]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 37% based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 5.10/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand have enough chemistry to drive a solidly assembled comedy; unfortunately, The Guilt Trip has a lemon of a script and is perilously low on comedic fuel."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B−" on scale of A to F.[11]

Mary Pols of Time stated, "The Guilt Trip works because we all know and like a Joyce Brewster (or dozens of them)".[12] At the 33rd Golden Raspberry Awards, Streisand was nominated for Worst Actress, where she lost to Kristen Stewart for both Snow White and the Huntsman and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.[13]


  1. ^ "Christophe Beck Scoring 'The Guilt Trip'". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "The Guilt Trip (2012)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "THE GUILT TRIP | British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Guilt Trip (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Ayres, Tom (March 20, 2011). "Seth Rogen: 'Streisand reminds me of mum'".
  6. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (July 26, 2011). "First crush to midlife dating". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Jonathan (2012-10-31). "'Zero Dark Thirty' Confirmed For Platform Release, 'The Guilt Trip' Moves Up & 'Ride Along' Grabs 2014 Date". The Film Stage. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  8. ^ Pringle, Gill (27 February 2013). "Barbra Streisand: 'My dog is like the daughter I never had...she speaks English'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 2022-06-18. Retrieved Feb 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "The Guilt Trip (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  10. ^ "The Guilt Trip Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  11. ^ "GUILT TRIP, THE (2012) B-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  12. ^ Mary Pols (December 18, 2012). "'The Guilt Trip' Movie Review: The Return of the Funny Lady". Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  13. ^ "RAZZIES Nominations". Retrieved April 11, 2014.

External links[edit]