Netflix’s Unfrosted Review: Jerry Seinfeld’s Directorial Debut Is Inspired Comic Anarchy

The "history" of Pop Tarts is a joke, and a really funny one at that.

Jerry Seinfeld smiles as he presents his breakfast all-star team at a press conference in Unfrosted.
(Image: © John P. Johnson / Netflix)

Comedy is one of the most subjective genres out there, simply because much like the “true story” of any historical event, everyone has an opinion. Jerry Seinfeld has taken on the challenge of both in one breakfast-centric package in his directorial debut, the inspired-by-a-true-story comedy Unfrosted


Hugh Grant reads a newspaper in the alley with a look of discomfort in Unfrosted.

(Image credit: John P. Johnson / Netflix)

Release Date: May 3, 2024
Directed By: Jerry Seinfeld
Written By: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Andy Robin, Barry Marder
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Hugh Grant, Max Greenfield, Christian Slater, Bill Burr, Daniel Levy, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Thomas Lennon, Bobby Moynihan, Adrian Martinez, Sarah Cooper, and Fred Armisen
Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive references and language
Runtime: 93 minutes

Broadening the subgenre of biopic that sends up a figure or event in pop culture history, Seinfeld has assembled an Avengers-style team of talent in a love letter to the Pop Tart. While it’s not even close to an accurate depiction of this breakfast staple’s real birth, the film is inspired comic anarchy.

Picture the Space Race of the 1960s but transposed into the world of mass produced food stuffs. Unfrosted digs its spoon right into the sweet spot between those, as the rivalry of cereal magnates Edsel Kellogg III (Jim Gaffigan) and Marjorie Post (Amy Schumer) sparks a most dangerous game. As both companies compete to get to the shelves first with a new approach to breakfast, audiences are treated to industrial espionage, international diplomacy, and mascot protests. 

Reading that description must sound absolutely insane, but that’s exactly why Unfrosted is such an enjoyable romp. Bypassing historical accuracy altogether save for some jokes that reference actual fact and events, Jerry Seinfeld and co-writers Spike Feresten, Andy Robin, and Barry Marder have crafted a tasty and fun treat as the subject of the story.

Unfrosted is basically a cross between Airplane! and The Right Stuff but focused on the creation of Pop Tarts.

As seen with the Daniel Radcliffe-starring Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, there are some subjects that feel ripe for the faux biographical treatment. And much like what director Eric Appel and Yankovic did with their rowdy ride, Jerry Seinfeld has made a firm choice to go the ridiculous route with his Netflix film. Within that decision, all involved are actually paying homage to the Pop Tart in a method that feels more suiting than any stuffy drama could have pretended.

Despite Unfrosted’s title seeming to side with the more traditional variant of this famous food stuff, the movie is as colorful as the brand’s variety of flavors and frostings. For this, Seinfeld must also be lauded, as his ear for comedy carries over rather well to the director’s chair. The stand up comedian/sitcom star shows how much he’s learned over both halves of that legacy. So when the madness starts to kick in, it’s supported by a strong vision. It invokes the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams’ joke-a-minute pacing from Airplane! to and applies them to the stoic achievements of The Right Stuff. Fans of Looney Tunes and other similarly paced comedy stylings are going to feel rewarded.

The cast of Unfrosted is packed with ringers but never feels bloated.

Another comedy tradition that gets a workout in Unfrosted is the all-star cast. It’s clearly a no-brainer to stack the deck with talents like Jim Gaffigan, Melissa McCarthy, and Hugh Grant, but casting alone doesn’t guarantee results. Both sides of the camera need to be in tune and on the same page while also being game for anything. 

You’re never given a reason to question if that was the case on set throughout Unfrosted, as there’s not a single person who doesn’t sell this insanity with only the utmost respect. That’s quite a feat considering in addition to the main cast, there are supporting players like Christian Slater, Sarah Cooper, and Max Greenfield at work as well as a grab bag of notable comic figures in roles that serve as extended cameos.

It could all feel like a bit too much if there wasn’t a steady hand behind the wheel, which is why it’s even more important to highlight this specific success. The punchlines and cameos throughout Unfrosted are pretty quick and zippy, making for a briskly paced picture that never forces a laugh. This is probably one of the key advantages that a streaming release platform, as it’ll be much easier to enjoy multiple viewings to pick up any jokes that may have been missed the first time around.

An old school comedic sugar rush, Unfrosted’s balanced breakfast of bonkers is a laugh riot.

Unfrosted plays like a Saturday morning cartoon for grown-ups, and it invites the idea of viewers enjoying their favorite breakfast pastry while indulging. Nothing is taken for granted, with Jerry Seinfeld proving himself to be a directing talent that knows how to keep a movie on track even when the humor goes off the rails. It won’t take long for any potential decenters to know if this movie’s not for them – but at a time when people like to lament “they don’t make ‘em like they used to,” Unfrosted features a high level of confident chaos. 

Jerry Seinfeld proudly wears the influences of breakfast food and vintage humor on his sleeve. It’s because of that vision and voice that Unfrosted is able to act as such a fitting tribute to the era of Americana where colorful fun hit our breakfast tables and our televisions. Much like a Pop Tart, those who decide to dig in should be smiling with sweetness after.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.