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Butter


Butter poster

Everybody is good at something, and there are definitely some supremely talented people in this world. However, sometimes these people are much better than you at something you enjoy and it sends you into a table-flipping rage (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻). In Butter, the talent du jour is using butter to create magnificent sculptures and Laura (Jennifer Garner) is not happy she has real competition.

Grade:

B+

Destiny (Yara Shahidi) is a young foster child trying not only to figure out her own talent, but also to find a home that is willing to keep her for an extended period of time. She finally stumbles upon “the whitest people ever” in Julie (Alicia Silverstone) and Ethan (Rob Corddry). As she settles in, she finds her passion is making beautiful art with butter and enters the butter sculpting competition. The competition is a big deal in a small Iowa town, as Bob (Ty Burrell) has become a semi-celebrity for winning 15 years in a row. When he is asked to step aside and give someone else a chance, his scheming, over-bearing, semi-psychotic wife Laura takes over the reins.

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Butter is writer Jason A. Micallef’s debut and it’s a doozy. The story is so farfetched that I could not even capture it all in the previous paragraph—I had to leave out stripper/hooker Brooke (Olivia Wilde), dimwit car salesman Boyd (Hugh Jackman), and rebellious teen Kaitlen (Ashley Greene). The easiest way to describe it would be to compare it to Best in Show, but not quite as brilliant.

The appeal of Butter is the genuine humor and its characters. Far and away the best and most surprising winners are Corddry, Burrell, and Wilde. In an odd turn of events, Corddry is somewhat serious in his role as new father Ethan. He shows genuine compassion for the lost child entering his home and cares for her in a truly paternal manner. This is not to say he doesn’t provide his typical comedic flare, but I commend him for making the role his own.

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Meanwhile, Burrell is basically putting Phil Dunphy from Modern Family into this film. It’s hilarious and works perfectly in combination with Garner’s fanaticism. The only slight on Bob is that not enough happens with his character to truly be relevant. He is the reason Brooke shows her face, but he fades into the background quickly, which is a shame.

Wilde, on the other hand, is really beginning to come into her own as a comedic actress. She mixes sexy with solid comedic timing and steals her scenes. You can’t help but enjoy the scenes with Brooke and Laura as the polar opposites that are actually closer in character than you’d think. Wilde will continue practicing her range with more dramatic roles, but I hope she continues in the comedic realm every once in a while. It’s worth it.

Monte Carlo

Butter becomes unique when you realize there is a surprising amount of heart in the story. The obvious source is Destiny and her struggle gaining some sense of normalcy in her life. Yet, there is plenty to discuss with the secondary characters as well. We learn why Ethan and Julie decided upon an older foster child and get a glimpse at the crippling insecurity forcing Laura to act insane. There is plenty to keep your mind engaged.

Butter is a fresh comedy that does not rely on cheap tricks (mostly) to garner genuine laughs. While sites like Rotten Tomatoes (35%) and IMDB (6.0) have condemned it to obscurity, I truly enjoyed it and found myself laughing much more than anticipated. There are certain aspects that are completely unnecessary—Greene and Jackman, to name a few—but the film is rich with humor and worthwhile. Give it a watch when you want some light, quirky humor and you won’t be disappointed.

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  1. Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

  2. I really dug that trailer. Anything with Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Garner is automatically on my list of flicks to watch.

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