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Jerry Seinfeld and a Plethora of Comedians Provide a Sugary History Lesson in 'Unfrosted'


"Unfrosted," Netflix's newest original film, begins with a child seemingly running away from home. Makeshift luggage in hand, he stops at a diner and chooses to sit at the counter. As if the child is ordering a drink at a bar after a long day at the office, he utters to the server, "Two Pop-Tarts. Leave the box." 

At this moment, we, the audience, are in for a whacky interpretation of semi-factual events.

Jerry Seinfeld, the film's director, co-writer, and star, sits beside the young lad. He begins to regale the youngster with stories about Pop-Tarts, the fact that he's involved in their development and marketing strategies, and why the box's description of the breakfast pastry's founding might be a wee bit misleading. Thus, "Unfrosted" gets moving, back to 1960s Battle Creek, Michigan, and the creation of Pop-Tarts during a war between brand names Kellogg's and Post told through an account featuring every recognizable name in comedy.

And I do mean every recognizable name. "Unfrosted" costars the following famous actors: Peter Dinklage, Christian Slater, Bill Burr, James Marsden, Bobby Moynihan, Thomas Lennon, Jack McBrayer, Tony Hale, Dan Levy, Maria Barkalova, Dean Norris, Sebastian Maniscalco, Cedric the Entertainer, Fred Armisen, Patrick Warburton, "SNL" cast member Mikey Day as Crackle in the trio of Snap, Crackle, & Pop, Hugh Grant as Tony the Tiger, and Melissa McCarthy as a NASA Scientist.

That's just the supporting cast.

Seinfeld himself embodies the character of Bob Cabana, an influential employee at Kellogg's who enjoys friendly professional banter with his boss Edsel Kellogg III (Jim Gaffigan). The movie is loosely based on the true story of the creation of Pop-Tarts, which most people know is a Kellogg's breakfast pastry. But this film dissects, in the most absurd fashion, the combatant relationship with rival Post, run by Marjorie Post (Amy Schumer) and her loyal employee Rick Ludwin (Max Greenfield).

There's not much more to the premise of "Unfrosted" than the contentious feuding and backstabbing between the two cereal companies that dominated the breakfast scene in the 1960s. At the time of the JFK assassination and sending men to the moon, the actual events surrounding this film are slid into the background as the movie will make you believe everyone in America only cared about what new breakfast item these companies had up their sleeves.

Even a casual observer of "Seinfeld" could tell you that Jerry Seinfeld is obsessed with cereal. It comes up often in the iconic 1990s series, and it explains a lot about why the comedian chose to make this his feature film directorial debut. The movie might explore Pop-Tarts' founding, but hyperbolic circumstances elevate a dry story into something worth watching.

Though Post and the employees within are viewed as the villains of this story, Seinfeld and company appear to be having a lot of fun with the ridiculous premise. There are funny quips at the expense of Quaker, who is seen as the nerd in town. "Mixing religion and cereal…why?" That's just one off-handed comment about cereal that continues throughout the film, not to mention a bizarre awards ceremony with an In Memoriam segment featuring cereals lost that year (Wilt Chamberflakes and Kellogg's Grandma's Holes, remember those?)

The movie takes a wild turn in comparing cereal mascot revolts to the January 6th insurrection, a choice that falls flat in terms of comedic timing. What makes for great moments tends to be the fantastic cameos Seinfeld brings in, including a great turn by two very famous characters reprising their roles as 1960s-era ad executives (yes, them). The film revels in its quirky and absurdist take on actual events, never tiring of reflecting on how cartoonish it knows it is.

"Unfrosted" is not the greatest film from Netflix's library, but it stands on its own two feet as a tasty comedic treat for those looking for a bit of a chuckle. History and facts are set aside for most of the flick, instead focusing on the exaggerated nature of the cereal wars and utilizing every living comedian's strengths to formulate a fun watch. 

Ticket Rating: 🎟🎟🎟


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