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Unfrosted review: Jerry Seinfeld’s Pop-Tart brandopic is yet another unwelcome addition to the genre

This scattershot approach to the origins of the Kellogg’s breakfast snack relies on cartoonish fantasy and terrible humour

Seinfeld plays Bob Cabana, an amalgam loosely based on the Kellogg’s employee William Post
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Director: Jerry Seinfeld
Cert: None
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer
Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins

Jerry Seinfeld has had a week. He claimed that movies were no longer “the pinnacle in the social, cultural hierarchy”. He went on to argue that “the extreme left and PC crap” were responsible for an alleged dearth of comedy. Once upon a time, it seems, you expected “some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight. Well, guess what? Where is it? Where is it?”.

Not here, Jerry. Not in this Netflix release. Seinfeld’s directorial debut is yet another unwelcome addition to the brandopic genre. You will recall recent films on the Air Jordan basketball shoe, the Blackberry phone, the Flamin’ Hot corn snack and the Tetris video game. Seinfeld, a cereal addict on his eponymous show, now takes a scattershot approach to the origins of the Kellogg’s Pop-Tart.

Some shreds of the true story behind the breakfast wars of the early 1960s remain. In one of the laziest pieces of casting imaginable, Hugh Grant turns up as the pompous Shakespearean actor who voiced Tony the Tiger. The fabulously named Thurl Ravenscroft really existed, but the Nebraskan can surely not have been such a spit for Phoenix Buchanan in Paddington 2. Amy Schumer fails to age up as Marjorie Post, the 74-year-old proprietor of Kellogg’s main rivals.

For the most part, however, we are in the realm of cartoonish fantasy. Seinfeld plays Bob Cabana, an amalgam loosely based on the Kellogg’s employee William Post. Meeting a young runway in a diner, he delays him with a tale of how the unlovely toastable pastry came into existence. This involves a great deal of terrible humour, far too much of which relies on retrospective wisdom.


“It’s like a balloon bursting out of a steering wheel when there’s an accident,” someone says of an apparently absurd idea. Someone else proposes “microwave ovens that can cook a TV dinner in 25 minutes”. Ha ha! “It’s as if the movie industry gave itself over to extended commercials for brands that really should pay for their own advertising,” nobody actually says.

There is a Godfather parody. Two cast members of Mad Men shame themselves in a re-creation of that series. An overworked JFK gag ends tastelessly at the grassy knoll. And so on.

Oh, well. Perhaps the best response to junk food is junk cinema.

Unfrosted streams on Netflix from Friday, May 3rd

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist