Review: Unfrosted


If you were to ask what people’s opinion of Jerry Seinfeld was a month ago, people would probably tell you that he’s pretty okay and Seinfeld was a great show. If you were to ask people their opinion of Jerry Seinfeld now, chances are you’d hear nothing but jeers and people mocking him for his whining about how comedy is afraid of offending people because of “wokeness.” This all started thanks to his press tour for his film Unfrosted and I can’t help but think he made that statement just to drum up interest in the film.

I’m not going to bother explaining why Seinfeld is wrong since all you need to do is look at comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Smiling Friends to see that edgy comedy still exists (Ed. note: Also, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). What I will draw attention to is that if Seinfeld is going to bemoan how tame comedy is today, then clearly Unfrosted, which serves as his directorial debut, would be the kind of edgy comedy that he wants to make and would be anything but a safe and toothless comedy. It goes without saying then that Unfrosted is an extremely conventional comedy that rarely, if ever, rocks the boat.

It’s a farcical parody about the origins of Pop-Tarts. There are very few realities in which a movie about such a bland subject was going to offend anyone. It is also absolutely bonkers and is a fever dream of a movie that is kind of fascinating to watch entirely because it’s a film about the origins of Pop-Tarts told from the perspective of people who have a tenuous grip on reality at best.

Unfrosted | Official Trailer | Netflix

Director: Jerry Seinfeld
Release Date: May 3, 2024 (Netflix)

Unfrosted casts Jerry Seinfeld as Bob Cabana, an employee at the cereal company Kellogg’s. While the company has been ruling the cereal market for years, it has started to become threatened by its competitor, Post Cereal. Led by Amy Schumer’s Marjorie Post, the rival company begins to develop a breakfast pastry that will potentially usurp Kellogg’s entire cereal enterprise. So Cabana begins a frenzy to try and do everything possible to develop a breakfast pastry for Kellogg’s and beat Post to market, which will include starting the Cuban Missile Crisis, creating an affront to life and God with Chef Boyardee, trying to quell a mascot insurrection, and dumpster diving children.

I’m struggling to think of a word that accurately describes how strange the comedy in Unfrosted is. Demented was my first choice, but the humor in the film is fairly conventional and doesn’t step on any toes, outside of turning Hugh Grant into a Viking-horned insurrectionist Tony the Tiger that may irk some MAGA enthusiasts if you squint really hard. But the more I thought about it alongside the general pacing of the film, I finally realized what the perfect word is – deranged. It is a movie that will either break you with its stupidity or you will find it immensely satisfying because you, yourself, are already insane. Clearly, I am already insane, so I had a blast.

Despite the film lasting only an hour and a half, technically less if we’re not including the credits and blooper reel that last for over 10 minutes, it is relentless for how it piles on more and more insanity. Jokes will fly at the audience at a breakneck pace where even if a joke misses, like most of the jokes featuring Amy Schumer, another one will make you forget about the dud you just saw. I may not have laughed at all when Melissa McCarthy was trying to act like a tough guy at an advertising meeting, but when you realize that she’s arguing with John Hamm, who is practically reprising his role as Don Draper from Mad Men, you forget all about her unfunny schtick and become enamored with why the hell Don Draper is in a movie about Pop-Tarts.

Review: Unfrosted

Copyright: Netflix

And yes, that’s the level of strangeness we’re dealing with in Unfrosted. I have to appreciate the film for committing to the bit. It’s all too easy for comedies today to feel disingenuous and either break the fourth wall to address how stupid the situation is or have the characters in it point out the absurdity of the plot. Not so here. Everyone, from Seinfeld to the smallest bit player, plays their roles as if they were the straight man, not blinking at the absurdity around them. How you can get an actor like Peter Dinklage to be in charge of a milkman mafia is beyond me, but he commits to the role completely. I joked with my girlfriend that this was like the Oppenheimer of the breakfast world given how serious some of these moments were, which only made it even funnier when Unfrosted decided to lose its mind.

Another Oppenheimer comparison would have to be just how many comedians find their way into this film. Not a scene goes by without some major comedian popping up and saying a few lines. Sure, you have big names like Seinfeld, but then there’s Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Christian Slater, Tony Hale, Bobby Moynihan, James Marsden, Dan Levy, Mikey Day, Sebastian Maniscalco, Cedric the Entertainer, and plenty more. It’s a who’s who of comedy legends from multiple different eras and each comedian keeps their routine fresh. There aren’t really a lot of opportunities for the comedians to bounce off of each other like in classic comedies such as It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but the lines they’re given are strong enough and they deliver good performances all around.

It does get a bit tiring after a certain point though. For as energetic as the cast is and how farcical the film can become, it’s all a little bit too much at points. Unfrosted doesn’t know how to escalate its humor and gradually ween audiences into its zany world. The movie starts, energy-wise, at a 10 and stays at a 10 through its entire runtime, never letting its foot off the gas. It’s on a mad sugar rush to the point where you’ll eventually become exhausted with it. It then makes some of the later gags in the film feel like business as usual, turning moments that should be hilarious into banal comedy simply because we’ve seen too many over-the-top and excessive gags. It’s almost as if the writers ate sugary Poptarts all day, every day writing this film and this is what they came up with. Moderation is key, but there’s none of that here. Just raw sugar.

Review: Unfrosted

Copyright: Netflix

To its credit, the film doesn’t bother with trying to create deep or complex characters that take away from the comedy. I’m all for a good character study, but I’d much rather have a comedy that’s open about how little it cares for its cast in favor of allocating more time for jokes. Characters are important, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a time and a place for understanding character motivations and it’s not when Jerry Seinfeld has to run through a room of farting cows.

It’s no surprise, then, that Unfrosted has been highly divisive. I’ve seen reviews calling it one of the worst movies of the decade because of its inane humor while positive reviews have called it an enjoyable film that may be forgotten after a couple of days. At the very least, it delivers in all of the areas a comedy should. I tend to agree with the latter critics, but I understand where the film’s detractors come from. Yes, Jerry, comedies are different today from past decades, but it’s not because of political correctness. People have been using that excuse for decades in every era of comedy as a blanket excuse for why comedians are upset that other generations don’t find their humor funny. Comedies are different today because people have become more interested in character-focused stories and mile-a-minute gag comedies like Unfrosted feel displaced from this era. This is something that you would find in a Zucker Brothers movie from the late ’80s and ’90s.

Despite what some of my recent reviews may have implied, I genuinely want to enjoy a movie. I more often than not go into a movie hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I didn’t know what I was going to get with Unfrosted but I found myself pleasantly surprised with what I got. I understand where all the criticisms come from and won’t make excuses for them. This is a stupid movie that doesn’t know when to stop and is so excessive and high energy that it could very well likely be considered torture to certain audiences. I’m not one of them though. I found a pretty effective comedy that does anything and everything to make a joke, even if the jokes are tame and aren’t exactly pushing any new boundaries.




Unfrosted is a bright and sugary comedy that has inject itself with sugar and does not know when to stop. You'll either love its infectious energy, or you'll despise it.

Jesse Lab
The strange one. The one born and raised in New Jersey. The one who raves about anime. The one who will go to bat for DC Comics, animation, and every kind of dog. The one who is more than a tad bit odd. The Features Editor.