Review: BUTTER

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

I saw this movie almost a year ago at the Austin Film Festival and expected to see this hilarious satire in theaters by the end of the year.  Sadly, the studios chose to shelve the film until this election year. As a result, I feel that the movie loses some of its bite and relevance as the targets lampooned in the film no longer grace the news and mass media.  Still, because of the strong writing and superb performances of the cast, I will continue to celebrate this movie and recommend it to people.  I find it tremendously shameful that the studio chose not to champion this film last year as it rightfully deserved it.

After reading the synopsis on the Austin Film Festival website prior to the screening, I felt almost reluctant about attending this film as I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I am so ecstatic that I set my qualms aside and dove right in. Butter stars Jennifer Garner and Ty Burrell as Laura and Bob Pickler, a couple in Iowa who have a peculiar claim to fame. Bob is a celebrated butter sculptor. He has reigned as the butter carving champion for many years, but has finally been asked to gracefully step down so that others may have a chance to win at the state fair. This does not sit well with Laura who in turn decides to enter in his place.

Laura who has dutifully stood by Bob’s side during all of his competitions may have Bob’s skills, but she has definitely picked up much from watching and assisting. When it looks like she will have scant competition, enter Destiny (Yara Shahidi), a young foster child who has a natural born talent for butter carving. The competition between the two becomes insanely heated, especially when Laura will stop at nothing to win and keep the championship within the family.

Director Jim Field Smith (She’s Out of My League) and writer Jason A Micallef present an outstanding comedy with an excellent cast who deserve much recognition for their work here.  Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde and Ashley Greene offer exceptional performances.  The show; however, really belongs to Jennifer Garner and the young and talented Yara Shahidi who plays her young rival Destiny.

I highly encourage people to go see it. The content in this R-rated motion picture does get a tad raunchy and expletive laden at times, so if offended easily by this, then perhaps one should stay away. For those who can handle it, this film is an uproariously hilarious and often adorable movie. Oh and there is a particularly awesome cameo appearance by a certain actor, which I won’t spoil. In fact, stay away from the page for this movie as it ruins this lovely surprise.

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