Film Review: Eat Wheaties!

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Scott Abramovitch | CAST: Tony Hale, Paul Walter Hauser, Danielle Brooks, Lamorne Morris, Sarah Burns, Elisha Cuthbert, Sarah Chalke, Alan Tudyk
SPECS: NR | 88 min. | Comedy

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie 

In the new comedy Eat Wheaties!, Tony Hale (TV’s VEEP) is Sid Straw, a socially awkward mid-level executive at a computer software company who longs to mirror the perfect lives exemplified by his parents and brother. Wanting to break out of his simple, mundane life, Sid tries to force friendships with co-workers and instigate immediate romantic relationships with every date he has. Things turn exciting when he co-chairs his University of Pennsylvania reunion and he creates his first Facebook page to connect with old classmates, especially famous actress Elizabeth Banks. Sid’s stories of times spent with his buddy Banks are met with eye rolls from colleagues, friends and family.

Tony Hale in Eat Wheaties!

But Sid is on a mission to confirm not only her attendance but also their old friendship, and he begins making repeated phone calls to Banks’s agent (Sarah Burns, TV’s Barry) and messaging Banks incessantly on her Facebook page, signing off with her old college catch phrase “Eat Wheaties!” Though Sid thinks his notes are private, this social media novice is writing directly on Banks’s public timeline. When his personal and embarrassing posts go viral, his life spins out of control. Fired from his job, booted from the reunion committee and served with a restraining order from Banks’ team, Sid is fueled by the need to be socially accepted and to attend the reunion. Enter Sid’s newly hired inexperienced lawyer (Paul Walter Hauser, I, Tonya)!

Eat Wheaties! is a delightful feature directorial debut by Scott Abramovitch, who also co-scripted the adaptation from Michael Kun’s 2003 novel The Locklear Letters. The film is infused with funny moments, but Abramovitch also smartly takes the time to make Sid a fully rounded character, using his amusing obsession with Banks as a catalyst to explore what initially turned him into a semi-social pariah. It’s a perfect role two-time Emmy winner Hale, who fully mines his mastery at playing cringe comedy, while stirring in an appropriate mix of sweetness, sincerity, naivety and utter cluelessness. He is backed up by a great supporting cast that includes Danielle Brooks (TV’s Orange is the New Black), Elisha Cuthbert (TV’s Happy Endings), David Walton (TV’s Council of Dads) and Alan Tudyk (TV’s Resident Alien).

Eat Wheaties! is a charming comedy that serves its clever premise with style and heart.

About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at