An American Pickle

Showing at the cinema!

Written by Simon Rich, based on his own short story and directed by Brandon Trost, An American Pickle is Seth Rogen’s latest comedy vehicle and importantly my first trip back to the real world of cinema for 5 months.

Rogen plays Herschel Greenbaum a ditch digger in his native country who then emigrates to an early 20th century United States where, after a pickling incident, he finds himself in 21st century Brooklyn. With all he knows lost, he discovers his only living relative, Ben (also played by Rogen) who tries to guide him through this very different world.

It is far from perfect with an unoriginal premise which follows the classic “fish out of water” storyline. The storyline itself is chaotic and a bit of a structural mess, with plot holes a plenty. But what it does have going for it is something that isn’t often associated with Rogen’s films and that is a certain charm.

In Herschel particularly, Rogen presents a character whose quiet confidence in his own ability and desire to succeed make him strangely endearing. There is also an interesting exploration of loss, with both of Rogen’s character dealing with loss of loved ones and having seemingly different ways to remember and honour them.

An American Pickle is a bit of quirky piece of work, the storyline is a nonsense, although it recognises its own stupidity early on, there is some very obvious social commentary with hipsters, social media and over analysis of inflammatory speech all getting a mention. But overall its charm and warmth and quirky take on the story won me over.

It’s not going to be a classic, but was an enjoyable return to cinema action.

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