‘The Pickle Recipe’ Consists of an Uneven Mixture of Sweet and Sour

The Pickle Recipe

Part of the reasons comedy shows like Seinfeld and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the fact that these shows allow their characters to follow their selfish impulses without ever demanding that the characters find redemption. There’s just something funny about watching bad people do bad things only to face the consequences without the benefit of learning a lesson. I really wish The Pickle Recipe, the comedy from director Michael Manasseri, features characters following through on their solipsistic urges to mostly good effect until the film demands that each and every character complete a redemption arc, proving once and for all that they’re not as bad as their comedic actions suggests. The Pickle Recipe is a mixture of sweet and sour that never fully finds the right balance between the two.

Joey (Jon Dore) is one of Detroit’s premiere party emcees, orchestrating parties for wedding and bar mitzvahs to great success. When his latest party goes wrong and destroys all of his equipment before the party he’s planned for his daughter’s bat mitzvah, Joey is stuck in a corner in desperate need of money for new equipment. His Uncle Morty (David Paymer) has a proposition for his nephew: obtain his grandmother Rose’s (Lynn Cohen) legendary pickle recipe so they can sell it and Morty will give Joey $20,000. Joey takes a low level position at his grandmother’s deli in the hopes of obtaining her recipe, and eventually calls in his good friend Ted (Eric Edelstein) to help carry out various ruses to complete his mission. Eventually everyone learns that there’s so much more to life than money and pickles.

The farcical aspects of The Pickle Recipe are when the movie works best. One standout scene involves Eric Edelstein pretending to be rabbi as a means to be a trustworthy person to protect the secret recipe. It’s a sequence that doesn’t always feature crackling dialogue, but it builds the absurd tension between the characters through the situation and culminates with a ridiculous punchline. It’s moments like these that make me wish that screenwriters Sheldon Cohn and Gary Wolfson used these scenes for a television comedy, as these are scenes that might as well be culled from a spec script for Always Sunny.

For every comedic situation that works the film injects a rote aspect of its characters redemption that dilutes the potency of The Pickle Recipe. Of course, Joey encounters a romantic interest in Hana (Miriam Lee), a co-worker at the deli who only exists in the movie so that Manasseri and company can check off romantic interest from their generic story checklist. The same is true with the characters of Joey’s ex-wife and her new husband (Ashley Noel and Brandon Matthew Layne). They’re broad archetypes that have been used in countless other ineffective comedies, never adding a spark to anything that happens. Of course, everything in the film gets wrapped up with a happy ending that redeems each and every character for all of their bad behavior, a disastrous decision that dulls the edges of the film’s most effect aspects.

The Pickle Recipe disappoints because it wants to have it both ways – acerbic and sweet in equal doses. It’d be much easier to digest if the film chose a side and decided to stick with it, or if the redemption arc for every character wasn’t so painfully rote. But there are aspects to this modestly budgeted comedy that show promise, especially for screenwriters Cohn and Wolfson who show a knack for creating some awkward comedic situations. The tonal shifts that Michael Manasseri attempts to pull off with his film are difficult, and the obvious nature of these shifts diminish the film’s strengths. It’s hard to be so sour and sweet at the same time, and The Pickle Recipe doesn’t have the ingredients to make it consistently work.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Trip to Spain
Now on Blu-ray: Another Delicious and Delightful Journey with ‘The Trip to Spain’

Who could’ve guessed in 2010 that an improvisational comedy with Steve...

With ‘Wormwood’ Errol Morris Once Again Redefines Documentary Filmmaking

What is truth? Is there such a thing when dealing with...

Last Jedi Press Conference
How Does ‘The Last Jedi’ Differ From ‘The Force Awakens? Rian Johnson and the Cast Explain

A little over a week ago, at an undisclosed location in...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Laser League
These Lasers Cut Straight to the Chase – Laser League Impressions

Don’t blink for a second or you’ll be destroyed by a...

A Way Out
A Way Out is a Game That Truly Understands Co-Op Gaming

EA and Hazelight announce a Friends Pass Free Trial for co-op...

Jupiter and Mars
[PSX] Explore the Technicolor Apocalypse with Jupiter and Mars

I know it’s wrong, but Jupiter and Mars kind of makes me...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
‘The 49th Key’ is a Familiar Story Told with Soul

Title: The 49th Key Written by: Erika Lewis Art by: J.K....

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is about to Strike!

Title: Doomsday Clock #1 Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Gary Frank Colorist:...

viz media
Viz Media Digital Manga Update for November

TLDR Viz Media announced its digital manga update for November will...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Dexcharge Power Bank Review
The Power to Catch Them All – Dexcharge Power Bank Review

GGTR Game Series Power Banks ensure you have the power, and...

Manga Spice Cafe Box Review
A Taste of Summer in Japan – Manga Spice Cafe Box Review

Get a taste of summer in Japan with the specially curated...

Manga Spice Cafe
A Little Taste of Japan in a Box – Manga Spice Cafe

If you’ve ever wondered what Japanese People snack on while they...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
AXS TV Closes NJPW’s ‘G1 Climax 27’ With Four Episodes From The Final Weekend Beginning Friday Oct. 13

Los Angeles, CA (Oct. 11, 2017) – “Rainmakers” and “High Fly...

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Rocky Romero has created an auction to raise money for UNIDOS por Puerto Rico Disaster Relief

I’m The costume was worn by Rocky during the final Roppongi...

Douglas Lima Defends his Bellator Welterweight Title Against Rory MacDonald at the Forum on 1/20

LOS ANGELES – One year removed from its previous event at...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Samo Says: Star Wars – The Last of My Patience

When I was a child, I loved Star Wars. I had...

batman ninja
Is That Racist? – Batman Ninja Trailer

Nope, this is not a joke. Set to release on DVD...

Cultural Junkdrawer ‘Avengers Infinity War’: Analysis, Conjecture and Outright Lies

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Analysis Conjecture Outright lies   A nearly second...

Event News Event Reviews
dough bar
The Dough Bar and the Protein Donut

Created by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez, The Dough Bar Doughnuts are...

Improve Sleep and Performance with TrueDark

TrueDark by Biohacked aims to improve your sleep, performance, and health by...

Pyramid Escape Room Review
Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid Escape Room Review

Overview of The Pyramid Escape Room The Pyramid Escape Room, Escape Room...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...