Title: An American Pickle
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Brandon Trost
Starring: Seth Rogen (Twice), Sarah Snook, Jorma Taccone
Runtime: 1 hr 28 mins
What It Is: It’s the early 20th century and Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen) is a hardworking Jewish immigrant from a small eastern European country. When he moves himself and his wife to the United States to escape the cossacks they settle in New York City. Herschel makes an honest living stomping out rats in a pickle factory…until one day he falls into the pickling vat and he himself is brined. The next thing he knows it’s 100 years later and his great-grandson Ben (also Rogen) is picking him up to a world he doesn’t even recognize.
What We Think: This is pretty damned funny. What’s better than one Seth Rogen? Mathematics tells us two and that’s the correct answer. Rogen is funny working against himself. One thing that gets lost in this is social commentary here. Whether it is done purposefully or not the riff on both gentrification and cancel culture are there and they add so much to the goings-on. Structurally everything is a bit messy and predictable but then again you don’t really roll into something like this for the unique storytelling. You come for the laughs and there’s JUST enough of those to click.
Our Grade: B-, I mean insofar as HBO MAX goes there’s not much original content as of yet but this is a funny and fun start. If you’re into any of Rogen’s previous venture then this’ll hit just fine. If you’re not a fan then I don’t know why’d you’d even care. Check this one out, but it isn’t such a game-changer that unless you REALLY wanna pay for HBO MAX that you should. To be honest, though HBO MAX does feature a ton of stuff, especially in the television realm.