Reviews: Review of “Unfrosted”, a film by and with Jerry Seinfeld (Netflix)

The directorial debut of the creator of Seinfeld will not go down in the history of cinema with a satire on corporate struggles set in the ’60s.

unglazed (unfrosted, United States/2024). Director: Jerry Seinfeld. Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Max Greenfield, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Peter Dinklage, Christian Slater, Bill Burr, Dany Levy, James Marsden, Mikey Day, Cedric the Entertainer, Fred Armisen and Jon Hamm. Screenplay: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Andy Robin and Barry Marder. Photography: William Pope. Editing: Evan Henke. Music: Christophe Beck. Duration: 93 minutes. Suitable for people over 13 years old. Available on Netflix from Friday, May 3.

With the 9 seasons (1989-1998) and 180 episodes of the series that bears his last name, Jerry Seinfeld has earned a privileged place in the history of TV. For whoever writes this, it is the best sitcom of all time (sorry friends of Friends, The Officeetc.) along with Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David was the co-creator of Seinfeld).

But, beyond that success and the success of his stand-up shows, Seinfeld’s career never reached the height that everyone expected. It is true that he generated nice cycles like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee or lent his voice to an animated hit like Bee Movie: The story of a beebut it is as if that peak he reached with his series had also been a kind of ceiling or, worse, a curse.

Now, having just turned 70, he makes his debut as a director (and also as a live-action protagonist) of a feature film with a project that he had been dreaming of for a long time and that came to fruition thanks to the generous resources of Netflix.

We are in 1963 and in the midst of those corporate fights that Hollywood loves so much, the hegemony of Kellogg’s is challenged by its Post rivals, who are about to launch a product that promises to revolutionize mass home consumption. Bob Cabana (Seinfeld himself) finds out quite casually about the competition’s plans (industrial espionage was not so sophisticated at that time) and sets out against the clock with his boss Edson Kellogg III (Jim Gaffigan) and his old partner Donna Stankowski (Melissa McCarthy) to create something surpassing. Yes, the film is about how Pop-tarts, popular flat, rectangular, pre-baked cakes, are developed.

The topic is not particularly exciting and, beyond the playful, carefree and satirical spirit (bordering on overacting at times) of the proposal, not too funny either. Thus, the most fun is the parade of figures in important, medium or small roles: from Amy Schumer (the nemesis from the archrival company), Hugh Grant, Peter Dinklage, Christian Slater, James Marsden, Cedric the Entertainer and – pay attention fans of Mad Men– Jon Hamm and John Slattery; as well as seeing how the presences of an Andy Warhol or a Johnny Carson are embedded in the plot.

Far from the cynicism, solemnity and moralistic lowering of so many thrillers about the ruthless universe of business, unglazed It turns out to be a fairly innocent and classic film until I demoted it. It is clear that Seinfeld did what he wanted, although the final result – without being completely frustrating – was far from the expectations that a debut film like his had inevitably generated.

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