Good decent movie! Butter is a delightful little comedy that has most of its best jokes in the trailer but still manages to make you smile throughout. I'll admit, when I watched this I didn't have particularly high hopes. The film's strength is its short run-time. At a little over 80 minutes, the film opens up quick, makes you chuckle and sometimes laugh, and wraps up before you worry about its problems. It is necessary for me to address these problems but I honestly didn't care much for them. I had a lot of fun watching it.
In Iowa, laid-back Bob has won the state fair's butter-carving contest 15 years running; his tightly-wound and hard-charging wife Laura sees Bob becoming governor, so when the contest organizers ask him to step aside so others can win, she's incensed; when Bob won't protest, she decides to enter herself. In the county contest, she's up against Destiny, an African-American foster child, and Brooke, a prostitute Bob hasn't paid. When things don't go Laura's way, she enlists the help of Boyd, an old boyfriend. Laura's step-daughter and Destiny's foster parents are in the mix as things heat up at the state fair. What are Destiny and Laura's destiny?
I might have been of a mind to like "Butter" if only it could have made up its mind about what kind of movie it wanted to be. Destiny's touching story clashes wildly with the movie's awkward sense of humor that is much more condescending than satire.(The one laugh out loud moment in the movie combined the weirdest product placement and a truly private joke.) Not helping matters is the lack of comic timing from both Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde, with Garner also not being able to locate her inner Jessica Lange. That leaves Rob Corddry of all people to walk off with scenes, by being as down to earth as possible.
'Butter' follows Bob Pickler (Played by comedian Ty Burrell) who after 15 years of butter sculpting decides to hang the towel and step down from his seat and allow another to take it. His wife Laura Pickler, a competitive, power seeking, and socially ambitious woman (Played by Jennifer Garner) afraid of losing her power, decides to join the competition to take over the thrown. However when, a younger foster girl, Destiny (Played by newcomer Yara Shahidi) threatens to beat her, Laura will do anything and everything to win the butter competition.
I must say the script is actually quite good, providing some witty dialogue, but is also the downfall, as most of the dialogue comes out unfunny, awkward, or corny. And I feel that the overuse of the term 'Butter' in the script also comes off as an issue.
The cast is fine; 'Olivia Wilde' is a standout as a stripper, seeking revenge on Laura. The way she acts for me, is not only sexy but intimidating to say the least of her performance. 'Rob Corddry' and 'Ashley Greene' give out fine performances as well, as Destiny's Adaptive Father, and Laura and Bob Pickler's lesbian daughter respectively.
The main issue this film has here is that whenever Laura Pickler walks on screen I cringe. If I had ever seen a more annoying character on film it would be her. The film makes her out to be intimidating and saucy, but really she is a leach, and a mentally challenged power seeking hound. And matters are even worse as one of the most annoying actresses in America is playing her, thank you very much Jennifer Garner. She has the worse traits I have ever seen, she is not only power happy, she is bossy, mean, crude, crazy, obsessive, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and not even in a good, clean way. She wants the American Dream, but man will she do anything to have it. She drives everyone nuts, including her husband who eventually cheats on her, and when she finds out does she care? She just nearly kills him, when she hits him with a car. She is so annoying.
Remember when I called the main character annoying? That's not even the beginning. Part of the reason why she's annoying is because of that horrible score made by 'Mateo Messina' which comes out as cartoony, and childish. I know it's supposed to be goofy, but it comes off as un-necessary, annoying, awkward, and very-very weird.
With this film, it's supposed to be funny. Don't ask me why it is, but it is, truly and you can tell. It tries, what with the music, and characters. But in the end most of the jokes fall flat. Most of the jokes that actually are relatively funny come from the always reliable 'Olivia Wilde' as the stripper. Yes, when a stripper comes off as the funniest thing in a movie, you know that movie isn't a great one. And we all wanted 'Ty Burrell' act to work out in this film. But sadly his act falls cold unlike on 'Modern Family'. It feels unwelcomed, and again un-necessary. And while 'Rob Corddry' also lands a few decent jokes while chatting with destiny in a vehicle, he isn't given much to work with. And honest to god, I don't know what they were trying to do with that stalkish, annoying, idiot Carol-Ann (Played by Kristen Schaal). Whenever she says even a word, in her bubbly, unique voice it just seems out of place, and again un-necessary.
And as for characters, we get an ensemble of probably the worst list of characters ever. Most either weird, or annoying. Or both. None of them seem to be in reality. Well, all except for, maybe the stripper, but when she threatens to (No, joke, well maybe it was a joke, I certainly laughed) 'poop' on The Pickler's car, she basically lost all humanity she had going for her. And then she has sex with their lesbian daughter. Yes, definitely not usual. I mean when you're dealing with cheating, you would usual do something about it. But with the Pickler's when Bob cheats on Laura, what does she do? She first rams her car into his, and then he follows her like a puppy. I mean, what is wrong with these people? Did you completely forget what he did Laura? Don't you want to divorce him or something? No, but she later sleeps with a man, just so he could help her possibly win the butter competition. And when the husband finds out, does he care? Nope. There is something very wrong about those people.
One of the few spotlights is the direction from 'Jim Field Smith'. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing while working with the butter, and so, I must say nice work Jim, you tried your darned best.
All and All, but is just un-necessary. If this is what original movies are going to be like in the future, count me way out. 'Butter' comes off as between silly, and serious, and won't pick a side, with the worst set of characters which all won't be saved from a solid cast performance altogether, and direction from Jim Field Scott. I just wish it was butter. Opps I meant better. D 1/6/14