Author Topic: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once  (Read 4066 times)

Small Man Big Horse

  • Member
  • **
  • Writers wanted for comedy website, pls click below
American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« on: August 09, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Over the past few months I've become rather enamoured with Simon Rich (more on that here: https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,80871.0.html) and now his first movie has been released, based on a short story from his superb "Spoiled Brats" collection. It stars Seth Rogen, a man I normally really struggle with as he's such a lazy cunt and mostly just plays himself, but here he actually acts as he takes on two quite different roles in the movie.

The story is a slightly fantastical one where after being accidentally trapped in brine for a hundred years Herschel wakes up in the 21st century, and a culture clash fish out of water comedy ensues, where he initially meets up with his great grandson Ben but soon the two fall out. It's been fleshed out a fair amount which is understandable given the slightness of the original novella, with Herschel and Ben's falling out a far more central element, as is the examination of how the media (and social media) respond to those whose views might seem shocking and / or deeply unpleasant.

At first I didn't quite connect with the changes made, I'd like to have seen a little more of the world of 1919 (if only to see more of Sarah Snook in the film), and Herschel discovering what 2019 was like, but surprisingly after a while the more it deviated from the source material the more I liked it, certainly the satire of the second half is much sharper, and much funnier, and the ending is really satisfying as well. Rogen pretty much carries the film and for the first time in years I found myself really impressed by his work, it often looks quite beautiful, and this is a film I've an awful lot of time for. 7.8/10

KennyMonster

  • Dance like The Goverment is watching.
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2020, 04:38:15 PM »

The story/book was recommended in a podcast a couple of years ago and I gave it a go.

I ended up hating it.

In the end it came across to me as a sneering attack on millennials by a libertarian boomer/Gen-Xer using the voice of a first generation immigrant as its weapon.

The stand-in for Mark Kermode this week seemed to think it was hilarious though so maybe the movie version is good.

Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 04:41:44 PM »
I did like the trailer and the BBFC info suggests Rogen doesn't do drugs for once so I'll give this a look when it's convenient for me.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2020, 05:05:47 PM »
In the end it came across to me as a sneering attack on millennials by a libertarian boomer/Gen-Xer using the voice of a first generation immigrant as its weapon.

The author is now 36 years old, and he was 31 when he wrote it, so he's a Millennial, albeit towards the older end of the demographic.

The brief Facebook trailer had a good gag in it with the Bowie poster; the extended HBO Max trailer really played up the feel good underdog character arc, though, and the gags it highlighted were weak. Is it actually a funny film?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 05:24:07 PM by Mister Six »

KennyMonster

  • Dance like The Goverment is watching.
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2020, 05:20:55 PM »
The author is now 36 years old, and he was 31 when he wrote it, so he's a Millennial, albeit towards the older end of the demographic.

The brief Facebook trailer had a good gag in it with the Bowie Poster; the extended HBO Max trailer really played up the feel good underdog character arc though. Is it actually a funny film?

fair point about Simon's age.

It still came over as libertarian/'classic American Dream' style propaganda swipe at the younger generation.

Small Man Big Horse

  • Member
  • **
  • Writers wanted for comedy website, pls click below
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 05:49:05 PM »
It still came over as libertarian/'classic American Dream' style propaganda swipe at the younger generation.

I didn't find that at all and am quite surprised by your reading of it, there was a lot of mockery of Rich's character, sure, but equally Herschel and the idea of the American Dream came in for a kicking too.

Is it actually a funny film?

I thought so. It's not up there with the best comedies but I found it to be pretty consistently funny, and though there's a slight dip around the thirty minute mark if anything the second half is the more enjoyable, which is often quite a rare thing comedy wise.

Rev+

  • Take care of yourself, and each other
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2020, 11:05:03 PM »
I kept thinking of 'Back to the Future' throughout - not the film itself, but that quote from Bob Gale about the story springing from finding his dad's old school yearbook, seeing that he was an uber jock and absolutely nothing like Bob the Younger, and wondering what the hell he'd possibly have to say to him if they met.

The film doesn't have much of a message beyond different generations being different, but there being more commonality that we sometimes realise.  We all ultimately tend want the same things.  It's not 'rolling in the aisles' funny but there are some decent gags and bits of silliness, and it's kind of gentle and amiable.  Sometimes that's what you want.  2/10.

The short story it's based on is here by the way:  https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/sell-out-part-one

KennyMonster

  • Dance like The Goverment is watching.
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 06:46:08 PM »
I didn't find that at all and am quite surprised by your reading of it, there was a lot of mockery of Rich's character, sure, but equally Herschel and the idea of the American Dream came in for a kicking too.

Just to be clear, I'm only going by how I felt about reading the story, not watching the movie, so to be fair Seth Rogan (real name Cephalopod Rogaine) might have done something with the story to change the emphasises.

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 01:48:38 PM »
BIG caveats - I was only half paying attention when Mrs Nose was watching it last night, AND I didn't see the whole lot, but...

Is it just me, or does it seem like there's some VERY thinly veiled bigotry hiding behind the character of someone from the past?  "Jokes" about Polish people, attacks on christianity and calling Mary a prostitute whore and all that.  And I'm saying that as someone who isn't as down on Rogen as most on here, and isn't a christian or the least bit religious.

Can't help but think if certain things about it were changed that it would be immediately cancelled, assuming it would have got a green light in the first place.

But, again, my full attention wasn't on it, so it may be that all of that is covered and I either missed it or didn't pick up on it.

Re: American Pickle (2020), Seth Rogen but he's not shit for once
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 02:07:20 PM »
I saw this and quite enjoyed it, but can remember very little about it even though I only watched it on the weekend. A frothy film.

Interesting points on bigotry. If anything I'd say it sat on the fence too rigidly and took toothless swipes at everything. App developers? Silly job! But is it also good? Foreigners? Talk funny! But some things they say make sense??

Yer man Rogen was very good though. And Sarah Snook should be in everything.

Tags: