UNFROSTED

Poffy The Cucumber

Dry outer layer, fake sugary center.

It’s really just more of like a kitschy, uh, thing, which is one of the most unfunny—well, maybe it’s just a bad trailer…
— Sam Seder, Majority Report.

Jerry Seinfeld continues his unblemished record of never being funny.

UNFROSTED supposedly recounts a fictional battle between Kellogg’s and Post Cereal to invent the pop tart. It’s also supposedly a comedy.

The movie is an expansion of one of Jerry’s most uninspiring bits, unbridling Jerry to co-write, star and make his directorial debut in this unsophisticated cornstarch, relying on an unending cavalcade of familiar faces to shoulder the burden of its unaccomplished script.

Directing his first feature film at 70, Jerry has called in all his favors: in this 1960’s period piece, co-penned by his BEE MOVIE writers, Jim Gaffigan is unflappable Mr. Kellogg, Amy Schumer his unrelenting nemesis Marjorie Post; Hugh Grant is unappreciated Tony the Tiger; an understated cameo by Jon Hamm and John Slattery as ad execs; Peter Dinklage is an unmannerly milk czar, Christian Slater his uncivil milkman; Dean Norris and Maria Bakalova as underhanded Russians; there’s Dan Levy, Thomas Lennon, James Marsden… So many are doing Jerry a solid by being a part of this high fructose corn syrup, that some slip through lacking what Jerry Lewis called “funny bones” – Ronny Chieng, Andy Daly, Rachael Harris, Jack McBrayer, et al – like this movie’s subject, it’s a matter of taste…

Jerry himself plays Bob Cabana, a company man at Kellogg, who spends all his onscreen time trying to deliver one-liners while not acting. Bill Burr is John F. Kennedy, not known to be a mimic per se, but nailing that unmistakable Bahston drawl. Melissa McCarthy is a Kellogg idea man, whom everyone says is funny to avoid saying she’s morbidly unhealthy, because that would be politically un-correct.

There are annoying kids smarter than adults, written in that unconscionable manner that makes them speak as if they’ve got 50 years of modern experience. Jerry puts the exact words from his pop tart bit into the mouth of one of these unruly kids, “I took one bite, and it blew the back of my head right off!” And Jerry tries to act like he’s hearing the line for the first time.

There’s an unsubtle allusion to the raid on the American Capitol (convicted felon, rapist-traitor dumbo donald’s insurrection on January 6, 2021), as striking factory workers led by Tony the Tiger (bedecked like the “q-anon shaman”) try to stop the certification of the pop tart by FDA executive, Mike Puntz (unstoppable Fred Armisen), with chants of “Hunt Puntz!” (as in “Hang Pence!”)


During his press tour for UNFROSTED, Jerry made uncharitable comments about the “woke left” and colleges, for not taking risks or being edgy anymore… obviously forgetting he’s on a press tour for THIS undangerous toaster pastry.

Jerry is the perfect proponent of that old saw: “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” He might think he’s got it on lock, with his little black book filled with 1000 jokes he’s been unskillfully crafting since the dawn of time, but the man’s an unmitigated mediocrity. On the strength of his one accidental hit (SEINFELD (1989-1998), which, to be honest, had to be shoved down the public’s throat for 3 Seasons before it became beloved), Jerry unabashedly believes that everything he does must unquestionably turn to gold. Only years later would we discover that Larry David was the Force behind SEINFELD, and – judging by his scathingly uproarious CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2000-2024) – was also the Funny.

I will give Jerry this, though: his age, and his directing. At 70, the man has the energy and looks of a 50-year-old. And his directing is… good. Unintrusive. It’s not deficient (like Roger Corman or Uwe Boll), not confusing or cluttered or eye-strain (like McG or Olivier Megaton); it’s also unremarkable in any way (unlike Kubrick or Tarantino); it’s what we’d call ‘workmanlike.’ Jerry knows what shots he needs to keep the story moving. He just doesn’t know comedy. A Daily Beast headline (by Coleman Spilde): “Unfrosted Is Proof Jerry Seinfeld Has Lost His Touch.” But the question has always been: Did Jerry Seinfeld ever have a touch?

He’s not aiming for biting commentary, uncovering what snack foods have done to the American body and brain; he’s not aiming for tribute to an uncouth American snack; he’s probably aiming to nail down his unalloyed legacy as an observationist of mundanity. The bar can go no lower.

Whatever the reason for UNFROSTED, the end result: Unfunny.

END

UNFROSTED (May 2024) | PG-13
Director: Jerry Seinfeld.
Writers: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Andy Robin, Barry Marder.
Music: Christophe Beck.
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Christian Slater, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Patrick Warburton, Amy Schumer, Andy Daly, Bailey Sheetz, Isaac Bae, Kyle Dunnigan, Melissa McCarthy, Jack McBrayer, Thomas Lennon, Bobby Moynihan, James Marsden, Maria Bakalova, Dean Norris, Peter Dinklage, Bill Burr, Ronny Chieng, Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Fred Armisen, Darrell Hammond, Dan Levy.
RATINGS-04imdb
Word Count: 770      No. 1,638
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