Who better to play neurotic mom to nebbishy son Seth Rogen than Barbra Streisand? The songbird and her fictional son have taken the comedy road trip genre for a spin in their upcoming movie "The Guilt Trip," in which the "Funny Girl" actress plays that annoying travel companion who asks for a state-by-state weather forecast so she'll know what to pack.
With its release date moved up to December 19 to beat the Christmas movie rush, "The Guilt Trip" could be a big hit with Rogen cast as an inventor who invites his mother to join him on a business trip under the pretext of trying to sell his new cleaning solution. In reality, the wannabe Mr. Clean is trying to hook his mom up with an old flame in San Francisco, perhaps so she'll have someone to smother, er, mother, besides him.
Remarkably, this is Streisand's first lead actress role since she played an ugly-duckling-turned-swan opposite Jeff Bridges in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." One of Hollywood's few grand slam winners (she's won Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards), the 70-year-old superstar has managed to keep her funny muscles toned with her recurring role as Roz Focker in the "Meet the Parents" sequels" -- "Meet the Fockers" and "Little Fockers" -- while still managing to perform live in concert.
Rogen, meanwhile, has been on a roll since his 2001 film debut in "Donnie Darko." Most recently he played a sex-phone caller named Captain Jerry in the indie film, "For a Good Time, Call," starring his wife, Lauren Miller, who also wrote the movie's screen play. And last year the 30-year-old star, who began his career as a teenager by winning an amateur comedy contest, played the seemingly inappropriate best friend to his cancer patient buddy in "50/50." The plot of the highly praised film was based on the comedian's real-life friendship with its screenwriter, Will Reiser.
With the chemistry we saw between them in the trailer, we're betting Streisand and Rogen could become another classic movie couple alongside these other famous mother-son film pairs:
Debbie Reynolds and Albert Brooks in "Mother"
In this comic character study, the curly-haired actor plays a grown man who attempts to understand his trouble with women by moving back in with his critical mother. The 1996 movie punctures the myth that all mothers love their children equally, portraying the Reynolds character as favoring one of her sons over the other. In a supermarket scene she introduces Brooks' character to a neighbor by saying, "This is my son … the other one." Interestingly, the real-life mother of Carrie Fisher was the third choice to play the emotionally chilly mom. Doris Day and Nancy Reagan turned the role down, though the former FLOTUS reportedly toyed with the idea.
Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron in "The Blind Side"
Based on a true story, the mother-son relationship in "The Blind Side" is emotional versus biological. In this 2009 box office hit, America's sweetheart plays a rich suburban woman who takes in a homeless African American teen and launches him successfully into adulthood. The love between mother and son is palpable, and in a case of life imitating art, Bullock later adopted a black son, Louis Bardo Bullock, around the time of her split with husband Jesse James. Meanwhile, the super-sized Aaron, who has yet to land another big movie part, is famous for auditioning for his role as a football star in "The Blind Side" after his mother read about the role online. After reading his lines, he offered the film's director his services as a security guard in case he didn't get the gig.
Anthony Perkins and Anthony Perkins in "Psycho"
Perhaps the most classic mother-son relationship in the movies is that of Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, and his batty mother. No actress was cast as Norma Bates because she is alive only in her son's mind, which she controls from the grave. But her presence seems real since Perkins dresses up as her in a creepy version of the cross-dressing Robin Williams' in "Mrs. Doubtfire." Over a span of 40 years, Perkins performed in many other movies, as well as Broadway plays. But he is indisputably most famous for his disturbing mother-son relationship in the original "Psycho," a film perhaps best known for its spine-chilling shower scene.
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