Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Guilt Trip

Treatments don't come much more reducible than the Barbra Streisand-Seth Rogen cross-country road trip comedy "The Guilt Trip," which bears all the indicators of a sure Razzie nominee. And, at times, it does play out like an overlong SNL sketch, with Babs' pumped-up kitsch and ultra-Jewishness and Rogen's overdone squirming embarrassment.

But about twenty minutes in, the strangest thing happened. I heard myself emit a chuckle. A few moments later, a chortle. Before long, a couple of actual out-loud laughs. And the people around me were laughing too. And we all seemed to be equally surprised about it.

Yeah, it's more of a concept than an actual movie, and yeah, it has the cheap, cruddy movie-set feel of the bad comedies we used to get three to a weekend in the 80s. But the leads have an undeniable comic chemistry that survives the butter-knife-slathered sentimentality.

If you happen across it on the tube, I promise you won't take a fork to both of your eye sockets. Or, as we say at this time of year, two and a half stars.

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