Movie review: An American Pickle
Sweet is not a term you'd expect to use when it comes to a Seth Rogen comedy.
His stoner image - complete with gravelly cartoon laugh and R21 humour - is so strong that it eclipses his less brash personas.
An American Pickle, now showing on HBO Go, sees him in dual roles - Herschel Greenbaum and his descendent Ben.
The former is life-hardened and filled with an immigrant's determination while the latter is a hipster app designer.
Herschel, a Jew from Schlupsk in Eastern Europe, falls into a pickle vat in 1920s Brooklyn at the very moment the factory is condemned. He's revived 100 years later, perfectly preserved - the scientific explanation for which is quite brilliant.
While he sets out to make his pickle business a success - finding hipster-ridden Brooklyn embracing his "artisanal" ways - the adrift and isolated Ben becomes increasing jealous of his forebear.
Like many comedies before it where the supposedly less intelligent fish out of water offers wise insight, An American Pickle does have some comments on today's society.
For example, hipsters are so enamoured with authenticity, they don't question the origins of unlabelled jars of pickles sold from a cart in the street.
And while Herschel's a nice guy, his old-world opinions are both vilified and championed online. With the Eastern European accent, these moments also border on Borat territory.
Thankfully, this culture clash comedy doesn't just fall for obvious lines.
There's a surprisingly heartfelt moment when Herschel gets to experience the simple delight of seltzer water - something denied to him in the previous century, yet created in an instant in Ben's home.
It's small moments like these that help steer him away from being just a cartoon.
The film does have a problem in that it dithers about the exact story it wants to tell, flitting across scenarios without fully landing on one.
At times it feels like a series of sketches and you're just here to be buffeted along to the conclusion.
That said, Rogen's excellent performances make An American Pickle worth spending time with.
AN AMERICAN PICKLE (PG13)