Seth Rogen is no stranger to beards and oddball New York comedies, but in An American Pickle he’s pulling double duty as a bizarro Captain America. Friday brought the trailer for the HBO Max movie starring Rogen as both a modern New Yorker and an ancestor that’s been missing for a century as part of a strange pickling incident.
The setup is the briny American Dream: Rogen’s character and his wife, played by Sarah Snook (Shiv, from Succession) have dreams of leaving the old country and finding prosperity in America in the early 20th century. The immigration means Rogen goes from a life of ditch-digging to killing rats in a pickle-making facility, where he accidentally falls into a brining vat and is preserved.
Somehow he survives 100 years in the condemned factory and emerges to experience a very different New York City. It’s basically a pickled version of Captain America, minus the super powers and adding in a lot more kosher salt and vinegar.
“The world has changed,” Rogen narrates with an accent as he holds a newspaper clipping of Snook’s obituary during the trailer. “Everyone I know is gone.”
But he tracks down a great grandson, also played by an accent-less Rogen, who shows him the ropes of the modern Big Apple. The plot apparently mixes the modern Rogen finding his way, a very confounded brined Rogen learning about David Bowie and the eradication of polio, and maybe some artisan pickles. It looks like a nice mix of heartfelt and absurd, which is a perfect distraction from a reality where surviving 100 years in a vat of pickles would serve as a nice relaxing staycation of sorts. An American Pickle hits HBO Max on August 6, just in time to watch it while taking a nice soak in a pool of something other than pickle juice.