An American Pickle (2020) Review

Herschel Greenbaum is an immigrant worker in a pickle factory in Brooklyn, one day he accidentally falls into a vat of brine and stays in it perfectly preserved for 100 years! When he comes back to life in the modern day he is reunited with his great-great-grandson Ben.


An American Pickle started as the film I feared with the opening scene of Herschel and his wife Sarah with plenty of not funny moments. I feared the worst at that point, but have to admit that I was then pleasantly surprised by the heartfelt turn and thought provoking moments.

In the present day Ben Greenbaum is not having the best of times in his life, doesn’t really have any friends and has spent the past five years trying to create an amazing app that he could sell and make a lot of money from. When his great-great-grandfather shows up it will push him out of his comfort zone and really challenge everything he knows about himself.

The film manages to very easily show how views have changed within the 100 years and that is highlighted by very inappropriate comments from Herschel. In someways this is something that we should be reassured by that so many things are better now. I am not saying perfect but when you compare to that of years gone by it is worth thinking about! On the flip side to that though it also shows how you can learn from the past as well.

The relatives really struggle to get along with each other and end up in direct competition. I guess this is what happens at times with family members right? The time periods they are from does not help either until they wake up and learn something about the other. This is done in a lovely way as well, I was surprised by this in the best possible manner. Considering my feels during the opening scene I really did not think that type of progression was even possible. Showing that you should always give someone a chance or even second chance when at first you don’t agree with everything they stand for. We can learn from the past to create a better future, and it does make you wonder what people from the past would think about our present day!

I do have quite the soft spot for Seth Rogan, even though his films are very hit/miss. Taking on both roles in this one worked very well for him, allowing two very different characters and therefore different types of comedy on screen at the same time as well. Which created the perfect balance, this was pretty impressive it must be said. I know he is not the most popular given the whole hit/miss nature of his films. But he does get some good moments in this film.

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