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An American Pickle

Where to Watch An American Pickle


An American Pickle is a 2020 comedy-drama film featuring the acclaimed comedic actor Seth Rogen in a dual role. In addition to Rogen, the cast includes Sarah Snook, known for her role in "Succession", and Molly Evensen who brings her subtle humour to the mix. This distinct cinematic piece, directed by Brandon Trost and written by Simon Rich is based on Rich’s short story titled "Sell Out" published in The New Yorker.

The film introduces Rogen in two vastly different characters -- Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling Jewish labourer who immigrates to America in the early 20th century, and his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum, a mobile app developer living in contemporary Brooklyn. The catch? They both meet. The storyline subtly traverses into the territory of magical realism when the narrative discloses an unbelievable yet comedic event: Herschel falls into a vat of pickles and gets preserved for a hundred years only to wake up in the modern world of 2020.

This solo showcase for Rogen explores various themes, depicting the great divide between the world Herschel knew and the reality of the present day, encompassing advances in technology, societal norms, and lifestyle changes over the century. The movie takes an interesting turn as Herschel tries to adapt to this new world with his great-grandson's help. Beyond the surface-level comedy, the movie is infused with a deeper narrative about family ties, cultural heritage, and the quest for relevance in a world that is changing faster than one can keep up with.

Seth Rogen’s performance has proven to be the major draw of this film, as he skilfully navigates between his two characters. His portrayal of Herschel Greenbaum as an old world, hardworking, Jewish immigrant, holding onto his faith and tradition is both heartwarming and comical. On the other hand, Ben, his modern counterpart, embodies the laid-back, tech-savvy generation, wrestling with personal ambition and the pressures of the modern world. Rogen’s successful depiction of these contrasting characters adds depth and emotional resonance to the film, without overplaying the inherent comedic possibilities.

Another bonus for the viewers is the vivacious performance of Sarah Snook who plays the role of Ben's sister, imbuing her character with light-heartedness and charm. The ensemble of supporting characters, including Molly Evensen as Clara, Herschel’s wife in the past, makes the film lively and engaging. Each character adds a layer to the commentary on the cultural and temporal divide forming the central pillar of the storyline.

An American Pickle marks Brandon Trost's directorial debut for a feature film, and he successfully bridged the chasm between the hilarious and the sentimental. Under his directorial vision, the film manages to extract laughs while exploring hard-hitting themes and providing social commentary. Moreover, the period depiction of the early 20th century and the contemporary world is wonderfully executed, adding to the visual appeal of the film.

Written by Simon Rich, the screenplay does not shy away from employing a good deal of irony and surreal humour to bring out the stark differences and surprising similarities between the worlds of Herschel and Ben. The dialogues are imbued with wit making the conversations between the two characters engaging and sometimes profound.

In essence, An American Pickle is a comedy with a heart, filled with amusing scenarios interspersed with moments of introspection. It is a thoughtful sociocultural observation that delves into themes of ancestry, faith, ambition, the concept of legacy, and the passage of time. It also manages to capture the complexities of familial relationships and the challenges of cultural assimilation, balancing its comedic flavor with occasional doses of poignance.

At its core, An American Pickle serves as a “what if” tale that tackles the idea of trying to connect and communicate with our ancestors, viewing our present through their perspective, and vice versa. American Pickle, while warm, whacky, and slightly fantastical invites the viewer to marvel at the beauty and the absurdity of the world through the ages, peppered with light-hearted comedy and moments of reflective stillness. It stands testament to Seth Rogen’s versatility as an actor, Brandon Trost’s directional debut, and Simon Rich’s talented storytelling.

An American Pickle is a Comedy movie released in 2020. It has a runtime of 88 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 58.

How to Watch An American Pickle

Where can I stream An American Pickle movie online? An American Pickle is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent An American Pickle for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Brandon Trost
Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook, Jorma Taccone, Sean Whalen, Joanna Adler, David Mattey, Geoffrey Cantor, Eliot Glazer
Also directed by Brandon Trost
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