Unfrosted ends up stale 

Movie leads Melissa McCarthy and Jerry Seinfeld. Photo courtesy of NETFLIX

There was a time in my life when I rarely had anything for breakfast that wasn’t Pop-Tarts, back when carbs were nothing more than a mysterious science word and diabetes was something that only other people had to be concerned with. 

But I’m not writing this today to wax nostalgic about my college experience; I am writing to tell you that Unfrosted, the extremely embellished and exaggerated story of how Pop-Tarts came to be, is similar to its namesake in that it is chocked full of artificial ingredients that are bad for you, but unlike the delicious breakfast pastry I took absolutely no joy in consuming it. 

Unfrosted, I suppose, is technically a comedy. It is written, directed by, and stars Jerry Seinfeld. A lot of lines have the cadences of jokes and the whole thing is certainly wacky and zany. 

But comedies traditionally include laughs as well and I don’t think I came close to cracking a smile once. The jokes mostly arrive in three forms—the ones that are “You know how this thing came to be? Well here’s a silly explanation,” those that are “Man, weren’t the sixties crazy because of this reason?” and the ones that are “Isn’t it funny how seriously these people are taking this non-serious thing?” 

None of these jokes work, but the lameness of the gags isn’t what bothered me the most… it was how each and every one is delivered with an energy that is akin to having a standup comedian jump off the stage, grab a member of the audience by the lapels and shakes them while screaming “This is the punchline, isn’t it hilarious!?” 

The cast of Unfrosted is stacked with people that are normally very funny and all of them must have signed on just so they could have a chance to work with the legendary Seinfeld, because I’m sure it wasn’t the script that won them over. 

The story itself feels just as artificially sweet as the jokes that hold it up, presenting a clash between two groups of cereal magnates that I couldn’t care less about as they battle to create an innovative new breakfast pastry. There is also a mutated pasta beast and Thomas Lennon’s German character might actually be a secret Nazi, haha isn’t that a funny and original idea? This is the punchline, isn’t it hilarious!? 

Unfrosted does have a nice musical score and it does look pretty with its ’60s pastels and general aesthetic. 

I like to think that the bizarre choice of making a film about the origins of the Pop-Tart had to have come from a place of genuine affection for the sugary breakfast square. But labor of love or not,Unfrosted just comes off as a gross, unfunny celebration of the rich becoming richer by exploiting the sweet tooth of children. 

It’s hard to express just how much Unfrosted bummed me out; I guess I should have just chowed down on an actual Pop-Tart while binging old Seinfeld episodes instead. 

Unfrosted is now available on Netflix. 

Article written by TJ Reid

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