The cast of 'Unfrosted,' including Jerry Seinfeld and Melissa McCarthy
(Netflix)

‘Unfrosted’ Is as Sugary and Fleeting as Its Breakfast Inspiration

3/5 Pop-Tarts.

Are we expecting too much from a comedy today? It’s a question that kept popping up as I watched Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted, a fizzy, pop confection of a film.

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After a relatively quiet career since the ending of his iconic eponymous NBC series (Bee Movie aside), Seinfeld makes his directorial debut with the silliest of stories: the invention of the Pop-Tart. Seinfeld imagines a fantasy version of 1963 where the breakfast wars are front page news, where industry titans Kellogg (Jim Gaffigan) and Post (Amy Schumer) are in a corporate death battle tinged with sex appeal.

Seinfeld stars as Bob Cabana (if that name doesn’t at least inspire a chuckle, you’re watching the wrong movie), a devoted Kellogg’s employee who assembles a dream team to crack the much-lauded shelf-stable breakfast pastry conundrum. He recruits NASA scientist Donna Stankowski (Melissa McCarthy) and they assemble a cadre of celebrity cameos in a space race spoof to beat Post to the supermarket shelf: Jack McBrayer, James Marsden, Thomas Lennon, and more join the race to create the Pop-Tart.

Unfrosted is the kind of balls-to-the-wall comedy that studios just don’t make anymore. Like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Airplane!, or Anchorman, Unfrosted is a celebrity-studded absurdist romp that is more concerned with gags than character development or story. And in the words of Seinfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

While Jerry Seinfeld may be facing some (well-deserved) blowback for whining about how “woke” killed comedy, he manages to pull off an entertaining (if too long) comedy that kept me chuckling throughout the film. It’s entertaining enough to watch Seinfeld and McCarthy bounce off each other, and the truly impressive cavalcade of stars kept me engaged and enjoying the film. Two cameos in particular are too good to spoil.

Does Unfrosted reinvent the comedy wheel? Of course not. Instead, it offers a throwback to a retro zaniness that is as fun as it is fleeting. And in that sense, it’s the perfect Netflix film. Thoroughly enjoyable, if forgettable in a week.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.