Butter Movie Reviews
User reviews on Butter
I thought this film was alright but I do not think it is worth seeing in the theaters. I found this film to be quite entertaining but for a political satire it was a bit soft. I really thought this film was more competition comedy than a political film but that’s just my opinion. I did think that the film was well made and the pacing was really good, and of course the cast was absolutely wonderful and definitely enhanced my experience. I also thought that the film was quite funny and heartfelt from time to time and I enjoyed that mix. Overall, I liked this film but I was not in love with it and I do not think it is necessary to see it in the theaters.
I have mixed feelings about this movie: on the one hand, I thought it was good for my kids to see a young girl who is defined as "an outsider" to rise to the challenge of taking on a system that seems to be stacked against her. On the other hand, I thought it painted a very unfair and one dimensional portrayal of the people it wants to parody. It definitely pokes fun at the right wing (which is fine by me) but I feel that it implies too much that everyone who is a Republican believes in the crazy, nonsense theories that every fringe right winger is supposed to believe in. I thought Jennifer Garner played her part very well, even though it kind of came off as a one dimensional character. Ty Burrell was ok (I much prefer him on TV) but Hugh Jackman stole the show as the cowboy. I don't know how he does it, but even when he's playing a smarmy guy you just want to root for him. So Charming!!!
So I wasn't exactly sure if I wanted to see this movie or not since it is about BUTTER. At least, that's what the title tells us. And yea, it is about a woman who wants to become the butter carving champ of her small Iowa town (I didn't know this was something to aspire to) but it's really just a big fake for what the movie is really about. The African American girl who plays the young challenger really does her bit well and makes you think that this is going to be a movie that turns her into a big star. She is really super. Also, it doesn't hurt that two hotties like Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde are also in the movie in lead roles (Alicia Silverstone is also hella hawt but she's hardly in this). Ty Burrell is basically playing another offbeat but well meaning middle class dad type like he plays on Modern Family. I didn't exactly get or care for all the political stuff, but if you do like politics or satire, you'll like this movie.
There are a lot of things the new comedy from The Weinstein Co., Butter tries to be. Since this is the height of election season (and since Harvey Weinstein sits atop the financial committee charged with raising millions to fund the reelection of President Obama) you can rightly expect the movie to take aim at the sort of backwoods conservatives that like to believe (despite all evidence to the contrary) that Obama is a secret Gay Muslim Socialist in cahoots with his birthplace of Kenya to turn the US of A into a Neo-Fascist and Communist Nanny State. In other words, it’s a parody of Michele Bachmann.
But that’s really just the easy part. The harder part of the whole story is how it gets there. Yes, the movie is basically about an uppity WASP housewife in Iowa whose husband is the reigning butter sculpting champ of the Midwest (yes, Margaret, there is such a thing). And yes, he faces a severe challenge from both his wife and a young African American girl who is as cute as both of the Obama girls put together. But (mostly) this movie is a last chance effort by Jennifer Garner to prove her mettle as a major marquee star.
Once upon a time, Garner was The Next Julia Roberts: an elfin and vivacious pretty comedienne with enough blank slate appeal and perfect cheekbones to launch a thousand romantic comedies co-starring Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Gerard Butler, and future hubby Ben Affleck. But then something happened. Movies like Valentine’s Day and 13 Going On 30 happened. She found herself perennially relegated to “yeah-she’s-cute-but-too-sweet” territory to be taken seriously as the heir to the throne abdicated by the 90s rom. codiva trip of Julia Roberts-Meg Ryan-Sandra Bullock. And so no one really knew what to do with her.
Which is how movies like Butter ended up getting made. Yes, it’s pretty smart and occasionally bitingly witty. It’s also fairly predictable and seems to rejoice in caricaturing a broad swath of America as essentially the tool-ish buffoons of the Right Wing. But if the best they can do with such a wealth of material and a star cast that includes Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, and Hugh Jackman is to tell us that Obama is not the anti-Christ in Ivy League clothing, then perhaps there are finer routes to the same means that aren’t dairy-based. A decent satire, if not a particularly memorable one.