Unfrosted Movie Review: A sweet origins film which borders on the saccharine

Unfrosted Movie Review: A sweet origins film which borders on the saccharine

While Seinfeld, along with actors Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer and Jim Gaffigan takes us on a cereal-iously hilarious ride, it does get syrupy from time to time
Unfrosted(3 / 5)

The success of 2023's live-action Barbie has fueled a trend for origin stories, raising the bar for both fictional and realistic portrayals of how things came to be. The latest is Netflix's Unfrosted, comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s directorial debut and first film as a lead. The film goes deep and tells us the story of how Kellogg’s invented the so-called revolutionary breakfast, Pop-Tarts. While Seinfeld, along with actors Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer and Jim Gaffigan takes us on a cereal-iously hilarious ride, it does get syrupy from time to time.

Director: Jerry Seinfeld

Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan

Streamer: Netflix

Unfrosted opens with Jerry Seinfeld's character, Bob Cabana, as he tells a young boy the fantastical tale of how Pop-Tarts were invented. We then warp back to the 1960s, a time when breakfast belonged solely to Kellogg's and Post, locked as they are in a comical rivalry. This high-stakes competition pushes both companies to create the next breakfast revolution, resulting in the birth of the iconic Pop-Tart – and its lesser-known competitor, Post's Country Squares.

Unfrosted is a heavily fictional reimagining of how the Pop-Tarts were invented. It is so fictional that the film even teases that one of the experiments led to the birth of a sea-monkey (brine shrimp) ravioli-like creature. Seinfeld throws in a ton of wacky historical cameos, taking some creative liberties with the past for laughs. At a point, the film teases that people like Jack LaLane, professional fitness coach, Steve Schwinn, founder of the Schwinn bicycle company, and Tom Carvel, who invented soft ice cream, were brought together to make the Pop-Tarts.In a lighter moment, McCarthy’s Donna suggests that even Albert Einstein could have been involved in the invention, if not for his passing. Seinfeld's playful use of historical figures and his signature humour bring some hilarious punches. However, some political references and character cameos might fly over the heads of those unfamiliar with American history. The head-scratching could get in the way of the comedy.

Unfrosted might not be the best history lesson, but the comedic chemistry between Seinfeld, McCarthy, and Gaffigan is gold. Their rapid-fire banter and sharp witticisms land every time. The film also throws in fun references to classic brands like Quaker Oats and Doublemint Gum, adding another layer of nostalgic amusement. For instance, in a scene, Donna prepares an orange drink and asks Bob to try it. He drinks it and says, “It's got a good Tang!” to which she replies, “That's a good name,” hinting at the origins of Tang. Such easter eggs placed throughout the film, make Unfrosted a delicious confection.

Unlike Pop-Tarts which were so popular that they were fully sold out within two weeks of their initial release, Unfrosted is not a film for all. But just as Schumer’s Marjorie Post says, “There’s always a surprise inside the box.”

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