Tag Archives: Jewish

The Guilt Trip: Popcorn comedy

Seth Rogen is Andrew Brewster and Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in THE GUILT TRIP. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Seth Rogen is Andrew Brewster and Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in THE GUILT TRIP. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Moms have a way of loving you… sometimes too much… sometimes to the point of irritation. No matter how much we would like to move to the Arctic to gain freedom from their perpetual nagging, in the end we always succumb to the truth that they always have our best interests at heart.

The Guilt Trip tells the story of an overbearing, but loving, mother whose son takes her on a cross country road trip while he attempts to sell his revolutionary invention to big retailers.

The Guilt Trip 2The screenplay features a large variety of gags ranging from fun to outright hilarious. The filmmakers removed any cultural references to make this movie accessible to all, which is welcome yet unexpected seeing as the two leading stars are hilarious Jewish actors.

On another note, the story doesn’t reach for anything worth mentioning and follows very basic themes. If the cast wasn’t as good they are, this would have been a very… very bad film.

The Guilt Trip 4Barbara Streisand hasn’t had a leading role since Meet the Focker’s (2004), but she hasn’t lost her stride. Streisand and Seth Rogen have great chemistry as a mother and son duo. Both have great comedic energy and play off of each other quite naturally.

The Guilt Trip 3Basically, it’s the perfect hour and a half escape from your relatives who are bound to tug on your last nerve during the holidays.

Bottom Line: Popcorn comedy de jour. Have some laughs then move onto bigger things.
Grade B-

Runtime: 95 minutes
3D: No

The Dictator: Hilarious social commentary

Sasha Baron Cohen strikes a pose in The Dictator. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The shock and awe of Sacha Baron Cohen hit the world in 2006 with his infamous portrayal of Borat, the inept Kazakh enduring Western culture. He made us laugh with his outlandish actions and now he’s at it again with his new survey into Middle Eastern cultural norms.

The Dictator takes us into the life of the ruler of the fictitious country of Wadiya, and his attempts to keep his tyrannical rule over his people. His journey is thrown into disarray when he is forced to live as an average peasant among the people of the United States.

To sum it all up, a moron who has power thrust upon him from birth, brings his absurd beliefs to Western civilization giving himself and those around him an unsympathetic culture shock.

There are few people who could conceive of these ideas and even fewer who can make them work. Sacha Baron Cohen is one of them. He has makes a bold statement in this movie that can only be seen as a social commentary.

His character, General Aladeen, is portrayed almost perfectly by Cohen. His accent was sometimes inconsistent (being nitpicky here) when compared to his performance as Borat. Regardless, his antics are hilarious and he keeps the laughter amongst the audience consistent.

With his incredible character acting, we are really looking forward to Cohen’s future portrayal of entertainment legend, Freddie Mercury.

For those who were disappointed with his last effort in Brüno, you’ll enjoy the political commentary as well as the craziness this almost lovable political maniac delivers.

Bottom Line: There’s a deeper message hidden amongst the humor. It will make you laugh, but also make you think about what we have as a society and how much further we still have to go.

Grade B

Runtime: 82 minutes
3D: No