An American Pickle Movie Review

No Big Dill

The American dream has been the subject of many films, but it has never been told like it is in "An American Pickle," a strange, charming but sometimes uneven new Seth Rogen movie debuting on HBO Max. Most of all, the movie allows Rogen another chance to tamp down his well-known and mostly successful comedic persona and continue to build on the range he has shown in movies like "Take This Waltz," "Steve Jobs" and "50/50."
Rogen stars as Herschel Greenbaum. He is a laborer in eastern Europe in the early 1900s who spends his days digging ditches, often breaking his shovel in the process. He and his wife Sarah (Sarah Snook, a recent Emmy nominee for her work on HBO's Succession) travel to America to start their lives together and fulfill Herschel's dream of drinking seltzer before he dies. He gets a job in a pickle factory, where he ends up falling into a vat of brine, only to wake up 100 years later in modern day Brooklyn. Herschel returns to the world perfectly preserved without having aged a day.

Herschel finds out he has one living relative, who also lives in Brooklyn. Ben (also played by Rogen) develops apps for a living and is a composite of most stereotypes you associate with those who live in Brooklyn. He helps his great grandfather navigate a whole new world and attempts to start his own pickle business.

"An American Pickle" hits a lot of notes we've seen before, especially as a fish-out- of-water comedy. The screenplay was written by Simon Rich, based on his short story, and it does have heartfelt moments about family, heritage, and immigration. The movie strikes a balance between the outsider storyline and the topical issues it presents, but occasionally plays like a checklist of current hot topics, including cancel culture. It becomes a bit less interesting when the plot dips in that direction.

Rogen really is strong here, delivering juxtaposed performances in the dual roles without feeling too gimmicky. He continues his tradition of working with previous collaborators; in this case it's cinematographer Brandon Trost, making his feature directorial debut. Trost previously shot "The Disaster Artist," "Neighbors," and "The Interview," among others in-and-out of Rogen's filmography. "An American Pickle" is shot by John Guleserian, and he and Trost really give the movie a textured look that works to distinguish between the film's two settings.

The ideas are in place for "An American Pickle" and the movie offers plenty of offbeat pleasures, but the screenplay could have used a little more focus on the deeper topics. Still, it's always great to watch an actor continue to show that they are able to do more than what we have become used to seeing from them.

"An American Pickle" premiere on HBO Max August 6.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
An American Pickle Movie Review An American Pickle Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, August 09, 2020 Rating: 5


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