The fish out of water comedy has been making audiences laugh for decades. Movies where heroes find themselves completely out of their depth in unfamiliar environments and situations often make for some hilarious capers. Trading Places is still the best of the bunch. The beauty of this type of comedy, however, is that situations can be anything from body swapping to time traveling. It doesn’t matter, as long as they depict characters trying to re-adjust to new surroundings and trying to make sense of the world. In the end, they somehow manage, but not without making some mistakes along the way.
Seth Rogen is no stranger to these types of comedies. In The Interview, he and James Franco went to North Korea after all. His next project will see the actor return to this type of situational comedy as well, only this time the movie won’t set out to cause an international conflict with an underwhelming flick.
According to Variety, Rogen will produce and star in a film adaptation of Simon Rich‘s short story, “Sell Out.” If you’re unfamiliar with the tale, it starts off in 1908 and centers around a broke Jewish pickle factory worker. His days are spent fighting off rats and trying to survive on pennies and bowls of soup. That is until he falls into some brine, which prevents him from aging, and winds up in the future. When he wakes up from his slumber, the man finds himself in present-day Brooklyn, which is occupied by hipsters like our own Jacob Trussell. Upon observing his new surroundings, the laborer is shocked to learn that his only surviving family member is his great-grandson.
Rogen will play both the central protagonist and his younger family member. Brandon Trost, who was the cinematographer on a number of Rogen’s projects, is expected to helm the adaptation, which will mark his first feature-length outing as a director. Rich will pen the screenplay, adding to his impressive burgeoning resume which also includes Inside Out and the upcoming Willy Wonka remake.
If the movie goes ahead as planned, it’ll be a perfect Rogen vehicle. The short story is very Jewish (the narration comprises of lines such as “When I come on boat I have only shirt and pants. The food is not kosher and I soon begin to starve”). This satirical take on the stereotypes is in line with the actor’s self-aware sense of humor, though. Rogen has never shied away from embracing his heritage or cheekily poking fun at it (how about that sweater in The Night Before?), and this is another opportunity for him to showcase those sensibilities.
Additionally, this movie will also see Rogen play multiple roles for the first time. He now joins the likes of Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and Tyler Perry in lowbrow comedy’s lineage of duel performers. But at this stage in his career, Rogen has proven himself to be quite a consistent and reliable provider of laughs who’s surpassed those aforementioned peers. I’d bet money on this flick being a lot better — and funnier — than Norbit, Jack and Jill, and Madea.
If this movie lives up to its source material, we can expect some giggles. It’s perfect for Rogen’s sensibilities, and when he’s working with good material he’s a delight.
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