‘An American Pickle‘ is a comedy HBO Max exclusive directed by Brandon Trost and written by Simon Rich, who wrote the short story “Sell Out” which the movie is based on. Originally, Sony Pictures was supposed to release the film, but the rights were sold to Warner Bros.
Herschel Greenbaum (Seth Rogen) moves to New York City from Europe with his wife Sarah (Sarah Snook) to start a new life in the early twentieth century. Though they struggle, they are happy when Sarah announces she is pregnant. However, Herschel falls in brine at the pickle factory he works in and gets sealed in. When he wakes up one-hundred years later in modern times, he meets grandson Ben (also Seth Rogan). Disappointed that Ben has not carried on the family traditions, Herschel starts a pickle business that begins to compete with his grandson’s app. Ben grows jealous as his grandfather gets all of the attention.
The movie has been described as “low-key” in its humor and that is the best way to describe it. It has a lot of genuinely funny moments that make you laugh out loud, but there was a lot of space in-between those moments. That is not to say that it was boring or cringe-worthy, but when you here that Seth Rogan is playing a dual role, you would think there would be a lot more laughs.
Speaking of Rogan, he does a good job in the film. When playing Herschel and Ben, he never got lost or made you think he forgot who was playing. He stayed on point and his portrayal of Herschel is spot on.
There is a bit of social commentary where Herschel, being from the 1920s, says some offensive things about race, women, and sexual orientation. This propels him into being an accidental model of free speech, but when he insults Christianity, he gets chased out of America. This is a flipped perspective and shows the bubble in which the Hollywood crowd lives in. It is not Hollywood under pressure to close during the pandemic, but churches, who are being targeted by both the social media snobs and the mainstream media.
Bottom line, An American Pickle misses the mark on its social commentary and has a few gaps in the humor. However, it still is a decent film where Seth Rogan shines in his dual role.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Minor violence, Crude humor
FAVORITE QUOTE: This is what we’re reaching for everybody. This is the dream. This is the goal. Perfect jar of pickles.
Check out the trailer below:
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