An American Pickle Review: Seth Rogen’s One Man Army Performance Deserves an Applaud

An American Pickle is the first movie to be released by HBO Max on August 6, 2020. The movie was first set out to be a theatrical presentation only, but that soon changed. The movie stars Seth Rogen and Seth Rogen. Wait, did we get that wrong? No, we didn’t. An American Pickle is actually about Seth Rogen as a young yuppie man and Seth Rogen as an old Jewish man. And, when we say old, we mean around 150 years old!

Seth Rogen plays a double role in An American Pickle and if not for the unbelievable and outdated plot, you must watch the movie for him. The movie is based on the novella ‘Sell Out’, authored by Simon Rich.

An American Pickle Plot

Have you watched ‘Encino Man’ or ‘Rip Van Winkle’? Because An American Pickle is the updated version of them. Seth Rogen plays the role of Herschel Greenbaum. Greenbaum is a Jewish old man, who came to America in search of work in 1919. He started working at a pickle factory in Williamsburg and killed rats. Accidently, he fell into the brine and had been preserved there for more than a hundred years. 

Until, his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum, who is also played by Seth Rogen, comes and finds him. At first, they both are delighted to find each other. However, that soon changes because of the century-old age difference between them. Herschel is still in the 1900s where he is used to labor and considers that true hard-work. Ben simply wants to develop a mobile app.

 Herschel finds Ben’s work demeaning and Ben does not like Herschel for ruining opportunities for him. The feud between them begins but deep down, they have been reunited with families after long and they respect that fact.

An American Pickle Review

The verbal spat between Herschel and Ben is the main highlight of the movie. The comic timing of Seth Rogen is incredible and the old Herschel witty insults and comebacks are hilarious. There are no deep or serious moments in the movie but you might feel some sweetness from time to time. Herschel helps Ben mourn his loss and both the characters finding solace in one another because their blood ties are beautiful.

However, Seth Rogen is the only thing great about the movie. The rest of it is what we have seen and heard before. The references are very outdated and in 2019 portrayed in the movie is not even 2019. There are jokes on millennials going to college but, here’s the thing, now Gen Z are in college and there’s a huge difference between them.

The current demography of the North Williamsburg in An American Pickle is completely different than what’s shown in the movie. The dairy jokes and silly app names would have suited in 2013 but for 2019, it’s pretty outdated. The movie would have been a great pick if we were in the 2010s!

Seth Rogen on An American Pickle

Seth had a lot to say about An American Pickle. Firstly, he believes he was the inspiration behind the novella and the movie. He always thought how his grandfather, who was a tough guy and served in the war, would react to him. He thought that he would certainly beat the hell out of him. He also thinks that playing both characters was a risky business for him.

He once saw some actors audition for the role but he thought he might do it better. But, he did not wish to indulge in too much of himself because that might destroy the entire essence of An American Pickle. He even refused to wear a beard or wig as he wanted everything to stay natural.

Apart from the brine preservation part, Seth Rogen believes that most of the character development is inspired by real life.

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