5 Stars: The perfect movie to see with your mother
Andie’s dream since he was in grade school was to be an ecologist. Now, having invested every penny he has into a new, environment-friendly cleaning spray, he’s going to pitch his product to outlets such as Costco.
Before Andie starts out on the road from New York, he decides to squeeze in a quick visit with his mom. Well-meaning and loving to a fault, Joyce is beside herself with joy just to be hanging out with her son. But she’s also a master manipulator, the way only moms can be, and makes Andie feel terribly guilty for not spending more time with her.
Widowed now for many years, Joyce has little to occupy her time. Andie urges her to date, and maybe she’ll even fall in love. Joyce confesses that she was in love once, before she married Andie’s father. Then the big shocker: Andie is even named for this mystery man.
Andie gets an idea — if he could find the mystery man, whose name and company he knows, maybe his mother could rekindle some romance with him all these years later and stop guilt-tripping Andie. After some Googling and phone calls, he locates the man in San Francisco, and the best part is he’s not married.
Without sharing this info with his mom, he invites her to accompany him on his trip. How bad could a week with the woman who birthed him be?
The bickering starts immediately at the rental car office, where Joyce persuades Andie to skip the SUV he reserved and opt for a cheaper subcompact that looks more like a roller skate then an automobile.
Sure enough, it starts to snow and the car breaks down next to a strip club. Luckily, a really sweet and mechanically inclined stripper is able to help out, even offering Andie a lap dance.
The conflict continues to pay off with big laughs, especially when his mother decides to enter a competition to eat a 50-ounce steak in less than an hour. (Streisand confessed she exchanged beef for charred watermelon when they weren’t shooting close-ups)
The screenwriter, Dan Fogelman, based the script on a real-life road trip he took with his mother, creating a warm, loving and incredibly funny homage to her.
What’s lovely about this guilt trip is that in addition to annoying each other, Andie and Joyce get to know each other in a very deep way, each garnering new respect for the other.
Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen have incredible comedic chemistry. I can’t imagine any other actors in these roles. Much of the dialogue is improvised and hilarious.
Bottom line: This movie is smart, fun, and relatable — the surprise ending brought tears of joy to my eyes. Enjoy!
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures