Butter: There’s Going to Be a Meltdown (2012)

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Comedy
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butter-posterKnown as a butter artists, Bob has been a champion at the sculpture competition for years. When the competition committee decides that he needs to step down and let other people compete, Bob’s wife (Laura) takes it harder than he does. She vows to take his place in the competition and continues her family’s name in the world of butter. Her competition is an unfortunate combination of attitude and true talent. Included in the group is a cat-obsessed woman who is very attached Laura, a stripper who is demanding money owed her from Bob and a young foster child who seems to actually have some real skill for sculpting. Although she practices and becomes quite the sculptor, she realizes that she may not be able to beat the young child. When she comes in second place in the county competition, she looks for a way to enact a rematch in order to claim her “rightful” place.

Starring: Jennifer Garner (Laura), Ty Burrell (Bob), Rob Corddry (Ethan), Yara Shahidi (Destiny), Ashley Greene (Kaitlen), Olivia Wilde (Brooke), Hugh Jackman (Boyd Bolton), Alicia Silverstone (Jill), Kristen Schaal (Carol Ann), Phyllis Smith (Nancy), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Ned Eaten), Andrew Daly (Radio Announcer)

This little comedy may not have gotten a lot of attention, but it helped to solidify some of the acting abilities of its cast. While some of the cast (like Jackman and Smith) actually had minor roles in relation to the story, other truly had a chance to stand out. Yara Shahidi seems to be a part of a trend of new, young talent that is sweeping Hollywood. She was humorous and maintained great energy on-screen. Garner had all of the repressed aggression of a conservative housewife, while Burrell played the calm yet flawed husband. Rob Corddry, Olivia Wilde and Kristen Schaal also exhibited why they make good supporting comedic actors.

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Jim Field Smith’s comedy went mostly unnoticed when it was released, but it has a little bit of charm that makes it worth a watch. The film started with a narrated element with Laura campaigning for political office, but only as a way to give context to the film’s focus on butter carving. Laura’s obsession with the competition seemed to be more about needing to be the winner and maintain the family’s name in butter as opposed to allowing the competition to be able to the best of the best. For Brooke, her involvement in the competition was initially more about getting her money she was owed but became about finding a way to crush Laura’s dream. For Destiny, butter became something that she developed a passion for and she saw it as purely a release of her artistic ability. What she did not initially realize was that the competition was also an opportunity for her to feel like she found a new family.

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This film included a number of interesting elements that made it a little quirky, as possibly a little less noticed by the general population. The odd mixture of love and lust relationships kept the marriage between Laura and Bob on the rocks. Toss into the mixture the obsession Kaitlen had for Brooke and this family seemed to be falling apart at the seems. Brooke’s obsessive power play had her backing Destiny’s carving campaign and nearly exposing her to a world that was too adult for her. The problem with this film is that it seemed to lack more of the laugh-out-loud moments and higher energy that would have created more buzz. Even some of the funnier scenes (including the psych up with Destiny and Ethan before signing up) seem to drag on well after they make their point.

Butter is a charming movie that could have used just a little more love to make it more of hit. Still, it has its moments and a cast that is at least mildly entertaining.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5

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