Life & Culture

Unfrosted review: Seinfeld’s cereal classic snaps, crackles and pops

Jerry Seinfeld, the man who created and starred in one of the greatest TV comedies of all time, has now turned out an instant classic with his very first film


Hugh Grant as Thurl in Unfrosted Credit: Netflix


Netflix | ★★★★★

Can you remember the last film that had you laughing – and smiling – from the very start, right through to the end, with no let up and no dull patches? I’m struggling. There are obviously some very good comedies around but they all have a qualifier: dark, wry, black, teen, sophisticated, action etc. And the actual comedy is usually… well, let’s just say it’s often rationed.

Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted, on the other hand, makes no claims to anything other than being just very – stonkingly – funny, in the mode of Airplane, Blazing Saddles and early Woody Allen. It’s a treat. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. It’s a mood enhancer that needs no chemicals. And it’s that rare film that can genuinely be enjoyed by all age groups, on every level.

Seinfeld’s directorial debut, in which he stars and which he co-wrote, is a paean to his childhood love of Pop-Tarts. As he has put it: “Once I tasted them, I assumed they would not continue to make other types of food, that it would no longer be necessary to eat anything else.” A story of the battle between cereal companies Kellogg’s and Post to create a cereal without milk doesn’t sound promising, I know, but that’s the (true) peg on which Seinfeld hangs an hour and a half of sustained brilliance.

If I tell you that as well as the core cast – including Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy – the characters include Nikita Khrushchev, Walter Cronkite, JFK and the infamous Jan 6 US Capitol rioter who wore a shamanic outfit and a bison-horned fur headdress (played sublimely by Hugh Grant, who is also Frosties’ Tony the Tiger) you’ll get some idea of Unfrosted’s eclectic comedic pegs. John Hamm and John Slattery recreating their Mad Men roles provide the extra sugar in this particular cereal bowl.

I won’t bother with the plot, save to say that it revolves around pitch perfect send-ups of mafia and drugs films, with Organised Milk (Christian Slater has a ball as a sinister milkman) and a sugar cartel led by trigger happy overlord El Sucre.

It’s faintly annoying, albeit entirely typical of him, that a man who created and starred in one of the greatest TV comedies of all time, who is now the nonpareil of stand-up, has turned out such a winning comedy – an instant classic, I’d say – with his very first film. But then what else did you expect from Seinfeld?

Utter joy from start to finish.

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