Baggage vs. Bonding: The Road Trip

Written by on January 3, 2013 in Cars and Chicks, Perspectives - 14 Comments

imgresEXT: Shabby motel parking lot. Flashing “vacancy” sign is missing the letter “n.”
Early evening. Against a setting sun, a red Chevy Sonic pulls up and out bursts Katie Morosky.
“You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, who believes in you as much as I do or who loves you as much!” She hollers at the driver and slams the door shut.
CLOSEUP: Seth Rogen steps out, sweater tied up around his neck. He yells after her, “When you love someone, from Roosevelt to me, you go blind, deaf and dumb.”

Complete disclosure here – I am a Streisand freak. The kind who knows more about  Streisand than she does herself. It’s almost not healthy. And it gets pricey, like when she gives a concert.

But I didn’t know what to expect from “The Guilt Trip.” Which Barbra would I get? Katie Morosky? Fanny Brice? Susan Lowenstein? Luckily, I got Joyce Brewster, the most restrained, low-key and delightful Streisand has been for years. I was practically obligated to love the “The Guilt Trip” – but I liked it, too. Even my date liked it.Andy and Joyce

Every road trip movie validates my belief that you don’t really know anyone until you’ve spent a week with them in a car. It can make or break a relationship. Who drives? Who sleeps? How do you decide the route? Where do you sleep? Eat? Shop?

Barbra and James

The road trip can be a exercise in torture of Sisyphean proportions for the uptight, or a happy-go-lucky getaway for the less repressed. Usually, it falls somewhere in between for most of us.

In “Thelma and Louise,” my favourite road trip movie of all time, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon get knocked down over and over again, betrayed by every male they encounter, eventually engulfed by an inferno of crime. Does the gorgeous 1966 Thunderbird they drive along this journey save them – or doom them? I’ve never been able to decide. It’s one of the dubious charms of the road movie, and why Hollywood keeps dipping into this genre at every opportunity.

So I had my misgivings about “The Guilt Trip,” and hoped it wouldn’t propagate any nasty stereotypes.

But the movie turned out to be a wonderful exercise in bonding – not baggage, for Streisand and Rogen. Streisand herself admitted that she and her husband, James Brolin, often take off for a road trip in a truck with a bench seat so they could sit next to each other. She lets Brolin drive, while she rides shotgun. She doesn’t drive, having tried once and wound up going the wrong way on a highway ramp. *Shudder* Apparently they go to places like Arizona and chow down on good eats.

Streisand said the road trip experience is intimate and brings her closer to her husband. In the movie, mother and son kibbitz their way to a new understanding of each other. The chemistry between Rogen and Streisand is natural and comfortable (as an easy chair?), as they riff off each other with easy ad libs and quips that you might miss if you’re chewing too loud.Streisand and Sammy

I couldn’t get past the image of Streisand and Brolin cruising along Arizona truck stops, red dust whirling in their wake – what the heck would they drive? A black F150? I pictured them pulling up to a funky roadhouse, disguised with sunglasses and cowboy hats. I’ll bet even Sammy, Streisand’s little white dog, would have to don chihuahua ears.

And I wondered – could I survive eight days in a car with Barbra Streisand?

Maybe, I would have a new BFF. And she, in turn, might finally learn to drive.

Guilt Trip green screen

14 Comments on "Baggage vs. Bonding: The Road Trip"

  1. Geek Girl January 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm · Reply

    Road trip? I have always wanted to do that with a BFF. Never found the time nor the right BFF to take a chance with.

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm · Reply

      A road trip really is the way to get to know someone – make an adventure of it and take someone you’d LIKE to get to know ; ))

  2. Jon Jefferson January 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm · Reply

    Maybe not in movies but in life, I have always loved road trips. My favored mode of travel being a bike. It has been a while (my current bike is more for short commutes instead of long rides), although back when I had a good touring bike and lived in California long rides were the norm. It is when you bring others along that the dichotomy of the trip changes.

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm · Reply

      Now you really get familiar with someone when you spend a few days on a bike with them! And California would be chock-full of great rides. I’ll bet you have some terrific stories to tell!

  3. Kelly Wade January 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm · Reply

    You definitely learn a ton about a person after spending an extended period of time with them in a confined space. Imagine how awesome it would be to take a road trip with your favorite celebrity or idol. Its weird to think about famous people doing regular stuff like the rest of us and trying to picture them taking a normal road trip with their husband. One thing on my bucket list is to drive across the country!

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm · Reply

      That’s both the attraction and the horror of a road trip – spending alllll that time together in a small space. It really brings out the true personality of a person, and I think you learn a LOT about yourself as well. I still can’t shake the image of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin pulling up to a roadside diner in a pickup truck, but why not? For sure, no one would expect them there, so their anonymity is protected! And yes, I’d love to drive cross-Canada one day, preferably in a very comfy car!

  4. Susan Oakes January 4, 2013 at 1:22 am · Reply

    I have never gone on a long road trip with my guy but as we similar tastes in music it would probably be okay. I am a Streisand fan myself, although maybe not to your extent. However I do remember a friend and I paid $750 a ticket when she performed here a few years ago. The only problem was it was an outdoor concert and poured rain the whole night. Still it was memorable.

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm · Reply

      Anyone who pays $750 for a Streisand ticket is definitely a fan! One of the musts for spending time in a car with anyone is compatible musical tastes. There’s an out-take from “The Guilt Trip” that shows Streisand boogeying to Duck Sauce – you know, that dance tune where they interject ‘Barbra Streisand’ – and she just sings along “ME”!! It’ll be on the DVD for sure.

  5. Doreen Pendgracs January 4, 2013 at 1:51 am · Reply

    Hi Krystyna and happy new year!

    I used to love road trips when I was younger, but I haver to admit that as I age and am always pressed for time … flying is my preferred mode of transportation.

    I find one learns a lot by spending a week (or more) in a hotel room with a gal pal. My travels for Chocolatour have taken me on several trips over the past 3 years with different gal pals. It’s certainly been interesting!

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm · Reply

      Happy New Year to you too! I suppose when you’re “Chocolatouring” it’s best to fly. If getting from A to B is important, then it’s hard to beat an airplane. But when the journey is as important as the destination, a road trip is great. And hey, you can eat all the choco you want along the way.

  6. A.K.Andrew January 4, 2013 at 10:37 am · Reply

    You’ve really sold me on the film an I’m a hesitant Streisand fan I have to confess. But road-trips are really fun. Or at least the idea of them is. My back wouldn’t put it with even a medium sized one now. Do I have an RV in my future? Can that really be counted as a road trip? I both shudder at the thought, but the idea of watching the New Mexico sky flying past me while I’m lying down is not an unpleasant thought. thanks for the fantasy:-)

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm · Reply

      Aww, sorry to hear about your back. That definitely wouldn’t be fun – although I once interviewed Canada’s own Karen Kain about her car, she had an Infiniti that not only had heated seats, but they could be configured into dozens of positions – as a ballerina, she was constantly sore. But an RV would be a gas! That would be a great solution.

  7. Becc January 7, 2013 at 3:51 am · Reply

    Oh no thank you!!! I dislike road trips with a passion – give me an airline that serves french champagne any day 🙂

    • Krystyna Lagowski January 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm · Reply

      You know, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea LOL! Thank goodness we have so many options these days to get to wherever we want to be. It’s great to fly and be waited on – Canada’s own Porter airlines is a wonderful treat, very civilized – no French champagne but really good coffee : ))

Leave a Comment