Movie Review: Butter

Title:  Butter
Rated:  R
Genres:  Comedy, Satire
Director:  Jim Field Smith
Writer:  Jason A. Micallef
Stars:  Jennifer Garner, Yara Shahidi, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, Hugh Jackman
Rating:  4 Stars

After winning 15 years in a row, master butter carver Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) is forced to step down and let others have a shot at butter fame. Understanding this as a personal shot at the Pickler family status, his wife, Laura (Jennifer Garner) enters the refrigerated room and begins her butter quest.

But our young narrator and main character, Destiny (Yara Shahidi), becomes a sticker in Laura Pickler’s side. After being bounced between comically horrible foster families, Destiny finds a stable home with Ethan and Julie (Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone). They encourage her to find a hobby she likes, which just so happens to be butter carving, something she is a bit of a prodigy at.
This butter battle boasts contenders from butter carving groupies, to a stripper (Olivia Wilde), to a good ol’ car salesmen (Hugh Jackman). Expect satire, manipulation, and farcical levels of competition.

My Thoughts: 
Set in Iowa, this quirky comedy takes full advantage of its Midwest setting. From the Iowa State Fair to the odd assortment of characters, the script felt genuinely Midwest to this Minnesotan. And while the accents weren’t perfect the whole time, I can tell you that my Minnesoooootan accent comes waves, so it didn’t particularly bother me.

You can't have a State Fair or butter carving competition without getting religious or polical

The casting decisions were great. Jennifer Garner plays the controlling wife in that wonderful way we’ve seen before (think of her character in Juno, but harden her heart a bit). Ty Burrell plays his fumbling dad routine with a little more seriousness injected. Olivia Wilde hits the mark as an extortionist stripper. Mostly the actors play variations on what I already knew them for, with the exception of Wilde and Hugh Jackman, both wonderful and surprising roles. This was also my introduction to Yara Shahidi, who did an excellent job portraying Destiny.

I recommend Butter to those looking for something quirky, as well as to fans of other Midwest comedies, such as Drop Dead Gorgeous, Juno, Fargo, and Grumpy Old Men.

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