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Seth Rogen on road with the ultimate Jewish mother: Barbra Streisand

Left right: Seth Rogen is Andrew Brewster BarbrStreisis Joyce Brewster THE GUILT TRIP from Paramount Pictures Skydance Productions.

Left to right: Seth Rogen is Andrew Brewster and Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in THE GUILT TRIP, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

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Updated: November 30, 2012 6:25AM

What holiday gathering is complete without a side dish of familial guilt along with the turkey and cranberries?

This Christmas, however, moviegoers can simply hitch a ride with the mother-and-son team of Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as they hit the road in “The Guilt Trip.”

As Rogen succinctly puts it, “It’s a story about a guy who is trying to not be really annoyed by his mother all the time.”

The situation is relatively fresh. “There haven’t been many comedies about a mother and a grown son,” says director Anne Fletcher, whose previous effort, 2009’s “The Proposal,” grossed nearly $320 million worldwide. “About the only one that comes to mind is ‘Mother,’ ” which starred Debbie Reynolds and Albert Brooks in 1996. “I went back and watched it again, just to make sure we didn’t do anything similar.”

From the start, Fletcher sought out Rogen, 30, for Andy and Streisand, 70, for Joyce, a New Jersey widow who rarely sees her only child. On a trek back home, Andy decides to ask his mother to join him for a cross-country drive to Las Vegas with stops in Virginia, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas — much to her overzealous delight and his multitude of mixed emotions.

The Funny Lady of this odd-couple pairing resisted for more than a year until finally agreeing to play her first movie lead since 1996’s “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

Rogen, the raunchy wisecracker from “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express,” was more of a straight man than usual, allowing a buoyant Streisand to channel her outspoken characters from “What’s Up, Doc?” and “The Way We Were.”

“If she wasn’t in it, I probably wouldn’t have done it with someone else,” Rogen says. “She is going to kill me for saying this, but when you meet her, she acts like a lot of Jewish mothers. I think she is the blueprint for every Jewish mother I’ve met over the last 30 years.”

Legendary songstress Streisand has been known to flash a diva-size temperament now and then. But Rogen didn’t notice much attitude.

As he says, “Not by a long shot is she the most difficult actor I’ve ever worked with. Now, 25-year-old guys — they are difficult.”

Gannett News Service

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