6 November 2016 | Ramascreen
A fun family comedy with heart
There's something about THE PICKLE RECIPE that takes you back to 'Home Alone' or any of those old screwball comedies about an unlikely person taking down stupid criminals. This film is funny but it's also got heart. And kudos to Jon Dore for balancing humor and sensibility the way only the late great John Candy could.
Jon Dore plays a pretty popular MC, Joey Miller, in Detroit city but he's also a single father deeply in debt. When his equipment was destroyed in a fire, he turns to his shady Uncle Morty (David Paymer) whose idea of getting money is to steal Joey's grandmother Rose's (Lynn Cohen) prized possession, her famous top secret dill pickle recipe. Joey is desperate, his daughter Julie's Bat-Mitzvah is coming up and he doesn't want to disappoint her.
Anyone of us can easily empathize with a character who's down on his luck, a likable loser, and that's what Joey is. Throughout the movie you want to cheer for the guy but at the same time not wanting to see him have to do terrible things just to succeed. It's the kind of comedy that makes you rethink what family means to you in your life. There are aspects of this film where I think could go a bit further in terms of its cinematic set pieces, I think the whole beating up the con man part could be elaborated a bit more for the laugh factor and I feel like the camera work choices are also a bit playing it too safe, but I understand THE PICKLE RECIPE can only do so much within its budget and therefore it works just fine for what it is. And so because the production seems limited, it all comes down to the story and the characters and I think that's where THE PICKLE RECIPE shines. Plus, when you have veteran actors like Lynn Cohen and David Paymer, you're in good hands. Cohen is one of those national treasures who don't get to be a lead on screen as often as I think she deserves, so in THE PICKLE RECIPE, she lays it all down and you'll come to admire her.
-- Rama's Screen --