2.5 out of 5
Butter is a black comedy that’s supposed to have teeth like Juno, Charlie Bartlett, or Napoleon Dynamite. Instead Butter goes like whatever happen to butter when it’s put outside of the fridge, melting.
In a small town Iowa Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) is the reigning champion of butter carving for 15 years in a row. His butter statues are unbelievably amazing; ranging from Schindler’s List to The Last Supper. Bob’s ambitious wife, Laura (Jennifer Garner) is planning to use her husband’s fame to propel her political dream. Laura is not an easy person to be with. Despite Bob’s popularity, everybody in the town seems to be avoiding Laura. Bob, feeling mad and depressed finds himself frequenting a stripper named Brooke (Olivia Wilde), in the end he owes her thousands of dollar. Brooke being Brooke is planning to get the money she is owed, even by destroying the Pickler family. Too bad for Laura Bob decides to not enroll in this year’s competition, making Laura takes a drastic step and enrolls herself for the competition. Laura does not see that her biggest competition will be in the form of Destiny, an 11 years old girl who has been moving from one foster home to another until she settles with Jill and Ethan (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry).
With so many good cast Butter is funny, but fails to be significant. The director should’ve add more salt and pepper to the story. The acting is decent. Ty Burrell plays an emasculated husband very well, while Jennifer Garner is hovering him all the time as Laura. Olivia Wilde as Brooke can do so much better and create more chaos, but instead she comes as annoying. Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone play an ordinary hip young couple. Alicia’s character Jill should’ve given more screen time as she first comes disagreeing about the butter carving competition since it’s against her belief as a vegan. This is an aspect the director forgot to use as his weapon for the film. Hugh Jackman has a small role, but a funny one indeed. Seems like he is the one who can fish out laugh from the audience. Yara Shahidi as Destiny gives a good performance, she is the only solid character from the film. Her story from a foster child to a part of a family develops nicely on screen. Kristen Schaal plays another goofy character in which I consider too tired to look at. Her performance as Mel in The Flight of the Conchords was brilliant! But she could do so much better in Butter, instead she falls into the usual trap of type casting.
In a nutshell Butter fails to portray black humour of satirizing small town midwest society dynamic. If there’s a place where weird things happen, small town midwest USA is the place. Ambitious local politicians, tooth and nail competitions, crazy new age people, religous zealots, problematic children. See?! All the ingredients are there, but Butter just simply couldn’t make a good recipe out of it.