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Review: Unfrosted (2024)

Unfrosted (2024)

Directed by: Jerry Seinfeld

Premise: A speculative fiction. Set in 1963, the Kellog’s and Post food companies compete to bring a breakfast pastry to market. 

What Works: The one commendable quality of Unfrosted is the production design. The film intends to be goofy and the look of the props and the costumes is the one aspect of Unfrosted that succeeds.

What Doesn’t: This picture is a disaster in virtually every other respect. In the past few years there have been several true-life dramas about intrepid businessmen bringing products to market such as Air, Tetris, and Flamin’ Hot. Unfrosted is a similar story focused on the creation of Pop Tarts. This story is almost entirely fabricated and the pitch of the comedy suggests this is intended to be satirical but Unfrosted doesn’t really poke fun at capitalism dramas. It has nothing to say about these historical events or the business of manufacturing and marketing a product. It just intends to be silly and that would be fine if not for the fact that Unfrosted is bereft of comedy. None of the gags or jokes work at all. In fact, the comedy of Unfrosted is frequently off-putting. The film is inflected with smugness and self-satisfaction while nowhere near as funny as its makers think it is. Unfrosted is reminiscent of feature films based on Saturday Night Live skits but not one of the good ones. It has that same desperation; jokes are overextended, cameos substitute for characterization, and the story is a series of disconnected skits. Jerry Seinfeld directed, co-wrote, and starred in Unfrosted and he’s terrible on all fronts. As an actor, Seinfeld has never proven able to do anything other than his standup and sitcom persona and he is poorly cast in this movie. The character requires a level of energy and impression of leadership that he cannot muster. The story is a slog with no sense of escalation or stakes. Comedy can get away with a looser narrative and thinner characters but the content of the film has to make sense and it has to be engaging. Unfrosted’s various pieces don’t fit together and nothing in it is even slightly interesting. Unfrosted is Seinfeld’s feature film directorial debut and he is clearly out of his depth. The film possesses no visual style and scenes are clumsily staged. The actors come across grasping for comedy that just isn’t there.

Disc extras: Available on Netflix.

Bottom Line: Unfrosted is an awful film. It’s not funny at all and the movie’s smug sense of humor is frequently repellent. The picture inspires the cringey feeling teenagers experience when their parents try to be funny.

Episode: #999 (June 9, 2024)