An American Pickle is a comedy drama film directed by Brandon Trost. The plot sees a Herschel (Seth Rogen), fall into a pickle briner and be trapped there for a few hundred years, he awakens in a different time, our present, and tries to see what has become of his family.
I don’t know if this film is supposed to be a comedy film, yes it has a wacky premise and yes it stars Seth Rogen in a double role, but at the same time it seems to have a lot of subtle subtext about identity and family that it seems far more concerned about rather than focusing on being funny. It didn’t make the laugh once, but it did make me think and feel, so in a way it is a triumph.
Seth Rogen has made a name for himself as a comedic actor, but here he brings much more to the table. Rogen plays Herschel as a man out of time, obviously, as someone who is trying to adapt to the world around him and find a reason to carry on, hence why bonding with his only living family member Ben (also Rogen), is so important to him. Ben on the other hand is a loner who can’t seem to deal with emotion or process the grief in his life, he has lost any form of his identity, but with the help of Herschel learns to regain it.
Overall, if you’re looking for the usual Rogen comedy film you won’t enjoy this, if you’re looking for something a bit deeper and more nuanced than this is for you. Be warned it can be quite depressing at times.
Rogen as a dramatic actor
Rogen plays both roles well and crucially differently
It has a good heart
It is not funny
It can be depressing at times
Reviewed by Luke