An American Pickle Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

An American Pickle is based on the short story named ‘Sell Out’ written by Simon Rich, which was published in the ‘New York Times’. It begins as an immigrant story, as pickle factory worker, Herschel Greenbaum (Seth Rogen) retells his journey to New York City. It is a heartfelt tale, about generational differences and how traditional values are interpreted in the current social climate. Brandon Trost’s directorial debut is a lot of fun, very stylized and wholesome.

The social commentary and the political correctness mixed with old ideologies, set up for a very humorous and entertaining film. It was also important to show Herschel’s journey, as a Jewish man, who was so connected to his faith and his family. It seemed as the film went on and he met Ben Greenbaum (Seth Rogen), the link to those family values were broken. Herschel and Ben learned a lot from each other, even though they were 100 years apart.

The dual role that is played by Seth Rogen is really well done. There was a lot of though that went into these characters and their backstories. The film was at its strongest when they were together and playing off each other. It is one of Seth Rogen’s best performances because of how distinct he made both characters. He kept the accent for Herschel throughout and his mannerisms were even very traditional. It was a far fetched concept but the connectivity between Herschel and Ben was the heart of this piece.

The social commentary is really effective because they presented a fight with outdated ideologies. Herschel ended up being praised for his freedom of speech, which is something we see a lot of with this generation, even if they are completely absurd. The way Simon Rich presented the current climate with Herschel at the forefront, attempting to attain the American Dream in a different era, was refreshing. It also expressed the different perceptions of family values in two vastly different lifestyles.

An American Pickle is such a sweet film about family, hard work and heritage. It was funny, informative and definitely educational. To see both era’s come together and clearly understand how much has changed in 100 years was important. It seems as if people have lost certain values and this film presents them in a new way. The most wonderful thing about this film was the way it presented the human connection, in all its messiness and its unity. Seth Rogen never misses and he continues to make great content.



Good Boys Review

On the 12 year anniversary of Superbad, we have a brand new trio conveying the trials and tribulations of 13 year olds in the best way possible. I’ve even noticed that the 6th graders of today are dealing with 16 year old problems and this is where “Good Boys” comes in handy.

Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stunitsky penned the most innocent restricted film for 13 year olds I’ve ever seen. The beauty of this script, is that the adult humour is masked by the innocence of the Bean Bag Boys. Phrases that we hear everyday were not used properly and it made it humorous! It was such a simple three part story and I even learned that sometimes you grow out of people and that’s okay.

Brady Noon, Keith L. Williams and Jacob Tremblay played unconventional 13 year olds with something to prove. It was hard watching them all curse and do some very questionable things, especially golden boy Tremblay, I feel like he’s everyone’s son and he’s growing up right before our eyes!

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg continue to bring fresh comedies to the forefront and we are so blessed that they’ve been making hit after hit at the box office, proving that original comedies can make money for big distributors like Universal! Support this film and support the Bean Bag Boys!