Right off the top I admit to be a big fan of Babs. She can do very little wrong in my eyes. While this is not a knock your socks off film it was quite nice to see Streisand back on the big screen. I enjoyed it (in a limited kind of way) for two reasons. First it was refreshing to see Barbra in a very different role. She has done comedy before with her turns in films like Meet the Fockers, Funny Girl and What’s Up, Doc?, but this is Streisand playing the stereotypical overbearing Jewish mother. The usually very composed and serious woman is loopy, kooky, talks too much, and is always eating. Second, she has not been a lead in a film since 1996’s The Mirror has Two Faces.
Andy (Seth Rogen – Knocked Up, The Green Hornet) is going to spend the weekend with his mother before going on a cross country trip to pitch a new organic cleaning product he developed. Once he arrives you begin to understand why Andy lives across the country from her. Joyce (Barbra Streisand) is a little overbearing despite the fact that Andy is a grown man. Basically she drives him nuts about everything from his job to the fact that he is not seeing anyone.
Over their weekend together she tells him that Andy is named after a boy she was in love with before she married his father. Later that night Andy finds out that the man works for an advertising firm in San Francisco. Against his better judgment Andy decides to invite his mother on the trip with him. He tells her it will be five days on the road with the last meeting in San Francisco.
On the road his mother continuously embarrasses and annoys him. Plus he doesn’t sell his product to one distributor. The tension level rises until there is a major blow up between mother and son. Is this going to be a trip that they remember for all the wrong reasons?
As a heavy duty fan it was with trepidation that I watched this light comedy. Would I be disappointed? Would it really suck? Could I be objective? All these things ran through my mind. I could see why some fans were rather disappointed. Once I settled in and accepted the fact that this was not her attempt at an Oscar nomination then I began to enjoy it for what it was. First of all it really showed how on point this woman’s (who we all think of as uptight) comedic timing is. Second, she shows that she needs very little to work with to make it palatable and finally, the chemistry she has with Rogan indicates that there is still something for modern audiences to appreciate about Streisand.
We have all seen one of the tons of road films that feature a mismatched pair traveling a long distance. It is ripe with comedic situations. But so overdone that it is a little wearisome at this point. Anne Fletcher’s (The Proposal, 27 Dresses) film brings a little something new to it with the whole mother-son dynamic. Not only does she bring to the forefront the comedic moments, but also several touching ones. Both of the leads show themselves up to the task.
There are predictable comedic moments though there are enough pleasant and refreshing ones (mostly due to the two leads) to make it a pleasant enough road trip (or movie watch).
-Previews of Star Trek: Into Darkness, Jack Reacher, Don’t Fade Away
-Barbra & Seth
-Guilt Trip: Real Mother of a Road Trip
-In the Driver’s Seat
-Not Really a Road Trip Movie