An American Pickle (2020) A Review

Not usually a comedy fan, or a Seth Rogan fan.  So I was surprised by how much I liked this film.  Some bits were a bit overdone, but it was good for a few chuckles.

Certificate: 12A

Director: Brandon Trost

Screenwriter: Simon Rich (screenplay and original short story by)

Genre: Comedy, History

Starring: eth Rogen, Sarah Snook, Molly Evensen

Runtime: 88 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A simple Jewish man named Herschel Greenbaum works in a pickle factory in Brooklyn. One day he falls into a vat of brine and stays there, perfectly preserved, for 100 years. He comes back to life and goes to stay with his great-great-grandson, Ben, in contemporary Brooklyn, where he is determined to restore honour to his family, much to the dismay of his Great-Grandson.  Once Ben sees that Herschel is going to be more successful than him, he puts into motion a plan of sabotage which goes a little out of control. – From IMDB

My relationship with Seth Rogan comedies has been a little rocky to say the least.  As a rule I find them all to be terribly predictable, and Seth Rogan mostly just plays the same character on repeat.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the trailer for this.  Not only was it nothing like his previous films, but it was getting some pretty OK feedback from people who had already seen it.  So I took a risk and decided to give it a shot, and was not entirely disappointed that I did.

Seth Rogan plays both Herschel and Ben in this film, but his stand out performance is definitely as Herschel.  The lovable but politically incorrect Eastern European immigrant has absolutely no idea how to function in modern society, and that brings with it all the chuckles and cringeworthy moments that you can imagine.  It’s main source of schtick comes from Herschel’s outdated opinions on everything from Homosexuality to women’s rights.  And while for the first half of this film this is all very funny, it does start to get a bit old towards the end.

And while Herschel’s story is actually quite sweet and touching, Ben’s story kind of falls flat.  He is sabotaging Herschel’s success, just because he is being more successful than him?  I think a lot more comedy could have arise if these two characters where forced to work together on something rather than apart, as real magic happens when these two very different men are forced to interact with each other.  But there is a lovely redemptive moment at the end of the film, so things really come full circle in the end.

It’s not a major release, and especially here in the UK, I don’t think a lot of people are going to b rushing to see it, but if you are stuck for something to watch this weekend, this is a pretty good place to start.

‘An American Pickle’ is out in UK Cinemas now!

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