UNFROSTED – Review by Susan Granger

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When your name is as famous as Jerry Seinfeld’s and your bank account tops $900 million (according to Celebrity Net Worth), you can make whatever kind of movie suits your fancy.

For his feature-film directorial debut, 70 year-old Seinfeld chose a campy comedy about the creation of the tasty Pop Tart when cereal wars rattled Battle Creek, Michigan, which Seinfeld called “cereal’s Silicon Valley.”

Back in 1963, both Kellogg’s and General Foods – a.k.a. Post – were eager to break away from the traditional cereal need for a bowl, milk and spoon.

As head of development, Bob Cabana (Seinfeld) works for gruff, goofy Edsel Kellogg III (Jim Gaffigan) whose dynastic, family rivalry with Marjorie Post (Amy Schumer) is legendary. Both companies were eager to launch the first, shelf-stable breakfast pastry, rectangular-shaped to fit in a toaster.

To that end, Cabana recruits NASA’s Dana Stankowski (Melissa McCarthy), fitness guru Jack LaLanne (James Marsden), bicycle visionary Steve Schwinn (Jack McBrayer), ice cream’s Tom Carvel (Adrian Martinez), and others – while trying to corner the sugar market through El Sucre (Felix Solis).

Meanwhile, Post makes a deal with Nikita Khrushchev (Dean Norris) to import sugar from Cuba, igniting an Oval Office meeting with JFK (Bill Burr), launching the Missile Crisis.

Egged on by Cabana’s milkman (Christian Slater), the about-to-be-sidelined Milk Syndicate is headed by menacing Henry Friendly (Peter Dinklage). And when a Kellogg’s employee dies, there’s an absurdly irreverent, cereal-centric funeral.

Plus haughty Hugh Grant voices Tony the Tiger and there are a litany of celebrity cameos, the best of which features Jon Hamm and John Slattery satirizing their ad execs in Mad Men.

Unevenly scripted by Seinfeld with longtime TV collaborators Spike Feresten, Andy Robin, and Barry Marder, it’s filled with generic jokes and only vaguely reminiscent of other product-inspired movies like Air, Flamin’ Hot, Blackberry, Tetris, even The Founder about Ray Kroc who franchised McDonald’s.

FYI: Once known as the richest woman in America, Marjorie Merriweather Post was the mother of actress Dina Merrill. Post built Palm Beach’s fabled 100-room Mar-A-Largo mansion, now owned by Donald Trump.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Unfrosted” is a flaky, high-fructose, forgettable 5, streaming on Netflix.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.