August 07, 2020
A mediocre Rogen comedy. Most comedies go for a very simple, pedestrian setup and sneak in as many jokes as possible, An American Pickle guns for a more original and creative setup, but forgot to make it actually funny. It's a real bummer because the premise really did have a lot of potential.
Polish immigrant Hershel gets trapped in a pickle barrel and remains locked in for 100 years. When they find him he is still alive, but the world has changed a lot and Hershel only has his great-grandson Ben to take care of him. The two don't really get along and soon they become each other's worst enemies.
The loose narrative is actually quite fun and Rogen (who plays both Hershel and Ben) isn't bad either, but the jokes (and feeble social commentary) are pretty weak and the "time travel" bits are way too predictable. The direction too feels indifferent. The film just hobbles along without any real highlights, a missed opportunity.