Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Butter: Movie Review


Finds the comedy and odd-behaviour in a butter carving competition.
“Butter” takes place in Iowa, most likely smack dab in the middle of it, in a really small town that survives on its dairy industry. So much so, that they have a butter carving competition that is the be-all and end-all to celebrity status within the community. The King of Butter is revered. That title belongs to Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) who is retiring from the butter competition but finds no solace at home. 2011 (with 2012 release)

Directed by: Jim Field-Smith

Screenplay by: Jason A. Micallef

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell and Yara Shahidi

Ty Burrell as Bob Pickler in Jim Field-Smith's film BUTTER.
He is married to Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner) who is a real balls-buster, clawing her way to control within this small town. He is also seeking out gratification at a local strip club where he gets in over his head with bad girl Brooke (Olivia Wilde). Meanwhile Ethan (Rob Corddry) and Jill Emmett (Alicia Silverstone) are new foster parents to young black child, Destiny (Yara Shahidi), who finds herself armed only with her wit in a sea of white people.

Yes, the film is about butter carving, and yes it is exactly as funny as you would expect that to be. It can go a bit over-the-top at times, but particularly Corddry and young Shahidi handle the extreme humour with ease. She’s easily the best young actress in a comedy that I’ve seen in a long time. Wilde and Garner are able to do their own thing, throwing reality out the window, and just having fun. Kristen Schaal plays one of Laura’s butter carving competitors and remains unfunny since she attempted to find a touch-point for reality in her character, when, of course, there isn’t one. Ty Burrell usually fits this type of character and movie very well and though he is a fine lead, he's much better on his hit show “Modern Family”.

Jennifer Garner stars in BUTTER, an Alliance Films release.
There are a few ill-advised side plots veering the film farther away from a relatable comedy and of course everything is extreme, but then again, it is a dark comedy so the jokes cross lines as the genre dictates. It gets dramatic, which for those enjoying the comedy seems like an unwelcome departure and sidles the film with tonal issues in addition to the too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen issue, and in addition to the fact that this isn't any reality. But overall “Butter” is funny, and quirky, and odd. And Hugh Jackman plays a used car salesman cowboy. Take all that as you will.