p. silverman | USA | 11/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's always good to watch performers like Danny Aiello, Shelley Winters, and Dyan Cannon in an imaginative enterprise...like this movie was supposed to be. Maybe "The Pickle" was to be Paul Mazursky's "Stardust Memories" [Woody Allen's highly personal and decidedly off-beat effort]. All three try to wring life out of an unfocused, one-note script, leaving the viewer with the uncomfortable feeling that the performances are merely drammatic exercises in an acting class.
The premise is interesting: Aiello, the serious director of "art" films can no longer make a buck doing 'em, so he is convinced that in order to keep the home fires burning he must...stretch a bit. Like make a all-out crowd-pleaser with all the trendy, commercial stuff you can think of, with a totally spaced out science fiction backdrop. So the burned out Director reaches into his own psyche for whatever feels right, whatever works. When he was a child he was rewarded with a nice juicy pickle. So a pickle takes on guargantuan proportions and seemingly human intelligence.
One depressing and pointless scene blends into the next.
While the premiere of the film takes place its' embarrassed Director attempts to take his life in a hotel room and Aiello's acting is strong, but again pretentiousness reduces the impact. Little Richard fans note that the Architect makes a second Mazursky appearance - the first being the '86 "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" with a production number of the 1956 recording of "Good Golly, Miss Molly"."