Movie review: ‘Unfrosted’ — A missed opportunity for an all-star comedy cast

The new Netflix film “Unfrosted” is packed full of so many hilarious comedians being painfully unfunny.

And I mean huge names in stand-up like Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Bill Burr — the list goes on. The latter two are so tamed in their roles, they’re void of what makes them comedically great.

But the writing dulls everyone in the movie. The sharp wit that has taken these superstars to the top of the industry simply isn’t in the script, replaced by one-liners that feel like they’ve been thrown in with little thought. Sometimes they don’t even bother with that, instead filling the opening for a memorable retort with a Seinfeld shrug.

Other times, there’s an elementary gag, like Schumer shooting a rubber band at her colleague, or smashing him with a typewriter. It’s not funny; it’s off-putting, because if you know these comedians, you know they’re capable of being far more punishing with just their words.

Overall, it’s 93 minutes of missed opportunities.

The story takes us back to 1963 in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Kellogg’s and Post, champions and rivals in the cereal market, are in a race to create a breakfast pastry treat (hello, Pop-Tart!).

Seinfeld plays Bob Cabana, a Kellogg’s executive going all-in on this task with fictional CEO Edsel Kellogg III (Gaffigan). Across the street is the Post headquarters, run by Marjorie Post (Schumer) — who was a real person and one of the first female CEOs to build a business empire in America.

The movie’s telling is a parody, consistently silly, yet not very funny. It’s written and directed by the legendary Seinfeld. And maybe that’s the problem, because it seems no one felt comfortable pointing out when the jokes fell flat. That’d be like telling Mozart how to conduct his symphony.

So in the case of “Unfrosted,” the title fits. Everything about the film feels plain, reserved — with an incredible cast of over-the-top funny people who aren’t allowed to showcase their flavor.

2 / 5

Scott McDaniel is an assistant professor of journalism at Franklin College. He lives in Bargersville with his wife and three kids.