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“An American Pickle” (2020) - Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #34 Gem Mint 10.0

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

“An American Pickle” (2020) directed by Brandon Trost

An immigrant worker at a pickle factory is accidentally preserved for 100 years and wakes up in modern day Brooklyn.

You might like this if you like: Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow, Sarah Snook from HBO’s “Succession”, comedy, weird comedy, dramedies, drama, "Adaptation" (2002) with Nicolas Cage

Seth Rogen in "An American Pickle" (2020)

Short and sweet; Seth Rogen finally plays a character that doesn’t sound like Seth Rogen. Now look, I am Seth’s biggest fan and have been following his career since the beginning. I never had a problem with anything he did. In fact, I loved everything he did! He always just seemed like the guy you’d wanna be friends with but at the same time is one of the hardest working actors/producers/writers/directors in the filmmaking industry. Of the Apatow crew, I always felt Seth was the one who seemed like he wanted to stick with his comedy and I was perfectly happy with that. Sure he slowed down with some of the sillier comedies but even Jason Segel told me personally that Seth & Evan are just still into the comedy when it seemed their friends, Segel (having done “The End of the Tour”), Jonah Hill (two Oscar Noms for “Moneyball” & “Wolf of Wall Street”), Paul Rudd (“Avengers: Endgame”), James Franco, Jay Baruchel and Martin Starr. All seem like they’ve taken a step into changing their image at least once.

Seth Rogen (left) & Seth Rogen (right) in "An American Pickle" (2020)

With Brandon Trost’s first time directing, longtime friend and cinematographer of Seth Rogen’s and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, we finally get a glimpse into the Seth Rogen that doesn’t feel like the goofy stoner we’re all used too. It’s not the most dramatic career choice when you compare it to say even drama/action star James Franco’s when he did Pineapple Express and showed his comedic side but it’s still one that stood out to me and that I found enough in my love for Rogen.

Seth Rogen (left) & Seth Rogen (right) in "An American Pickle" (2020)

An American Pickle” still has that Seth Rogen flavor to it in the best way possible. It elevates his genre, yes the Seth Rogen genre, to a whole new level. Just seeing the trailer I knew it was going to be interesting watching Rogen explore that character. Before “Pickle” I felt he was just exploring other sides of himself in characters but now I felt he was finally exploring someone that was a bit more distant from himself than most characters he’s played. It was refreshing and a pure joy to watch though I do miss those riotous, laugh-filled theater experiences in past Rogen films. No matter the movie, the audience always seems like they’re having fun when Seth’s on screen and yes I’ve seen every Seth Rogen film in theaters with the exception of this one. It’s a noticeable viewing experience for me. Haven’t noticed it much during quarantine but maybe it’s because this is the first film I would’ve rushed out to go see in theaters.

Sarah Snook (left) & Seth Rogen (right) in "An American Pickle" (2020)

You could tell this film was very personal to Seth. I feel like this was the one for his parents. It’s the most family, heritage and reflective of Seth’s stories and feels honest to where he’s at in his life and career. Maybe it’s because I was going through old photos my mom left me right before watching this but the moment where Herschel (Seth Rogen) calls out Ben (Seth Rogen) about all the posters he has on his wall but no family photos really hit me in the gut. As much as I love movies when did the movie posters begin to overshadow our family?

A wonderful little tale of magic and adventure.. hilarious, sweet and thoughtful. Exciting new direction for Seth Rogen and cinematographer, now director, Brandon Trost. Congratulations and thank you for this fantastic film! So happy for you two and seeing where your guys’ career goes next!

Written by Sam Gall 08/06/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

Official Trailer:

Only on HBO MAX

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