Directed By Jerry Seinfeld

Starring – Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer

The Plot – In 1963 Michigan, business rivals Kellogg’s and Post compete to create a cake that could change breakfast forever.

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive references and adult language

Unfrosted | Official Trailer | Netflix (youtube.com)


Regardless of the film’s level of success, “Unfrosted” attempts something that very few biopics have done, in that it satirizes factual accuracies of its product’s origin, all in the name of cinematic ridiculousness, which it pulls off in spades. Instead of a conventional history lesson with a structure that makes so many of these films feel interchangeable, Seinfeld instead opts for an imaginative indulgence that might’ve begun as a joke during one of his stand-up specials, but here has evolved into vividly bringing to life a world of off-beat realities and endless celebrity cameos that at the very least prides itself on being different, and I commend it for that. In addition, while many of the performances from the main cast deviate between forgettably bland and downright awful (Looking at you Amy), the balance from the supporting turns elicits the single greatest satisfaction that I received from the product, particularly with Hugh Grant’s turn as a student of the stage turned voice actor, who portrays Tony the Tiger for TV commercials. Hugh’s typical caustic wit is on full display here, acting as a refreshing breath of air that not only gives the film’s integrity a much-needed boost, each time the focus of the film drifts back to him, but also a deviation from the consistency of the direction, which could’ve led to many of the off-screen confrontations between him and Seinfeld, which have been well-documented by this point. Lastly, it’s clear to see where the abundance of budget went, as the transformative production values towards emulating a vibrantly intoxicating side of 60’s Americana, complete with various set designs and costume choices that radiate with beauty in each frame. In particular, the attention to detail paid to the various product placement was most appreciated, with even outdated products finding their way to the decoration, all in order to constantly set precedent towards a placement in time, where the confines of the storytelling don’t seem too preoccupied with. It gives Jerry at least a beautiful canvas to elicit his impulses as a stylistic director, all while conjuring something that visually and atmospherically feels so unlike anything currently playing on Netflix.


It took all of five minutes for me to become annoyed with “Unfrosted”, mostly as a result of the aforementioned satirical level of comedy, which often underwhelmed in reaching its effective destination. While I commend the actors for frequently committing themselves to cause, regardless of how humiliating the lines of dialogue might be, the material here shows the issues with Seinfeld during the 21st century, in that his material doesn’t age for today’s audiences. Most of the problem certainly stems with the film’s inability to take any situation even remotely seriously, causing its biting sarcasm to lose its flavor quite quickly, but beyond that it’s the moments of inappropriate indulgences that left me uncomfortable for it being portrayed for laughs, particularly during a January 6th metaphor sequence that served as the only time in my life where I audibly stated “Too soon”. While I did laugh a couple of times throughout the engagement, usually with throwaway lines meant as nothing more than emphasis to drive a previous thought home, so much of the 88 minute investment falls alarmingly flat, especially considering much of its structure for delivery allows for spaced out timing that only further outlines the confidence in its material, which makes it all the more alarming. In addition, the script away from the comedy is often a scattered mess that is littered all over the place, with scenes involving temporary conflicts going nowhere, as well as previously established exposition being repeated only moments after it originally materialized. It all gives off that unnatural feeling of development that makes so much of this feel like a surface level idea, with little else, where so much of the story’s sequencing feels like intentional padding to the run time, instead of anything vital for expositional knowledge. Drifting away from the script, I previously mentioned that the abundance of performances to the central trio were unfortunately disappointing, especially from Seinfeld, who unbelievably is acting in his first live-action movie of his entire career. While Jerry emotionally feels appropriate with the tonal impulses he reaches so prominently towards in the movie’s constant silliness, his deliveries unavoidably play like a comedian unloading his routine, which often feel distracting with the others playing legitimate characters, and Jerry essentially just playing an extension of himself. It’s followed up by Schumer, whose deliveries not only lack commitment for the cause, often feeling like the first and only attempt at her dialogue, but also fail towards eliciting a character who is any more irredeemable than her cohorts, making her a less than desirable antagonist in an opportunity where she could’ve made the character her own. To be fair, McCarthy is better than most of her roles in recent comedies, with reduced volume in her deliveries, she often plays second fiddle to Seinfeld, so she serves as more of the straight man towards the material, which gives her very few memorable lines to properly stand-out. This trio gives way to an abundance of surprise celebrity cameos, with Seinfeld opening his book of connections to throw as many familiar faces at the audience, in hopes of covering up a very flawed product, but never anything memorable in the justification of the cause. This is often the problem with cameos, as they offer a glimpse into how great a movie could’ve been, but instead settle for a single line of dialogue in one of the many throwaway scenes during the movie’s duration. The worst of these is easily a duo of actors evidently reprising their roles from a super popular TV show of the past decade, but for nothing more than to wink and nod to the audience about its abundance of riches that never materialize towards anything meaningful in concept or execution. This is equally the same for Seinfeld’s first turn as a director, with no complimentary techniques towards brandishing his own element of unique vision to the proceedings, and in turn outlining that quite literally anyone could’ve steered this film off of the proverbial cliff that it casually raced towards. While style stimulates in the various production designs that were previously celebrated, the editing, framing and various shot compositions feel so bland and by the numbers, resulting in a missed opportunity for Jerry to expand his capabilities in the cinematic eye. Finally, while the zany silliness of the satirical spin was the intended purpose for Seinfeld’s encapsulation, it doesn’t come without an alienating factor for any side of the desired audience, leaving it a mystery as to who this film was targeting during its inception. The film comes across as too immature for adult audiences, even if they’re able to embrace stupidity, and while tonally the film feels right at home with adolescent audiences, the business and bureaucratic side of the story will inevitably overwhelm them, leaving “Unfrosted” creatively conflicted by the original choices in storytelling that it chooses to take.

“Unfrosted” is a sugary and colorful spin on the product origins scene that has become oversaturated in recent years, but ultimately one that fails to nourish or even temporarily satisfy as a convenient diversion on consuming. With ineffective humor, scattershot creativity and mountains of wasted star-studded cameos that is constantly hard to swallow, the film is a colossal failure as a directorial debut for Jerry Seinfeld, in turn leaving it a thinly manufactured and cheaply packaged replicant of a breakfast counterpart that effortlessly qualifies for junk indulgence.

My Grade: 3/10 or F

One thought on “Unfrosted

  1. While I think the story of how Frosted Flakes came to be would be an interesting watch, I just can’t get with this one. I have been in the 3% of America that just never found Seinfeld funny, and hearing that this seems like an extension of his comedy set puts up some red flags for me. I also think satire can be very effective when done well, but it sounds like this one just misses the mark. I think I will pass on this one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *