This movie is out of my box of comfort. I read the description and was turned away immediately from it but then I saw the names of the people who were in this movie and became intrigued by how I had never heard of this movie before. Jennifer Gardner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, and Rob Corddry are the big names with well known actresses like Alicia Silverstone and Ashley Greene to follow. Even the well known voice actress Kristen Schaal appears in this movie. If it didn’t have so many names of people I recognized, I would not have watched it.
I’m glad I watched it because to me, this movie was educational. For my being on earth of 23 years, I have never, ever heard of butter sculpture. Once the movie was over, I did a bit of research and found that not only is this a thing, but it has been a thing for centuries and its’ still taken very seriously today. But this is more of a side note since it is based out of my ignorance rather than the movie plot.
Quick Synopsis: Destiny is a black foster care child placed in the hands of a white family. While visiting the Iowa state fair, she happens across a butter sculpture station and skillfully finishes a cup, something that impresses Bob Pickler. Pickler is the 15 year reigning champ of butter sculpture and has created a legacy for him and his family. But when the board asks him to tap out of the competition next year to encourage others to participate once more, no one is more upset than Laura Pickler. Laura decides to compete instead but when her legacy is called into question, Laura will stop at nothing to win against a 10 year old black foster care child.
This movie was ok. It’s the type of movie you watch once and then never watch again; it’s not a waste of time when you are watching it but I would never pay $10 to see it in the movie theater.
Ty Burrell’s character was static at best; he smiled when people were around and frowned when no one was looking. Because Jennifer Gardner is who she is, Laura Pickler was not as dark as she could have been. Her character is a housewife who both controls everyone around her yet cares next to nothing for her family since appearances come first to her; people are scared of her forcefulness and she’ll do whatever it takes to get her way all while acting like a Midwestern belle. While I love Jennifer Gardner, she is not an intense enough actress to be dark and vicious. However, since this movie is labeled a comedy/satire, she was the perfect choice since she was able to keep it light and airy instead of How to Get Away With Murder dark.
Olivia Wilde’s character served as comic relief, and she was the only one to get me to actually laugh out loud. She’s not really needed in terms of plot but without her, this movie would have an even lower rating from me. Hugh Jackman is a minor character but his character is important to the end of the movie.
The best acting comes from a young Yara Shahidi who plays Destiny but has now made a name for herself by playing Zoey Johnson on Blackish. Her character is unapologetically black and knows that is not ok with many people in Iowa. She actually never unpacked her bag until the end of the movie because she was so used to being turned back over to the state. Her being a property of the state made her so wise yet she was able to stay so innocent; her words could warm your heart, incite inspiration, or make you say “that’s so cute omg”.
Overall, looking at the movie as a whole, I think this movie was too dry to be labeled a comedy and too dull to be satire, but it sure as hell could not fit into any other categories. I love dry or deadpan or sometimes even dark comedy, and this does not fit into any of those categories. There were also some parts of the plot that just didn’t really need to be there.
**You know what makes this movie sort of feel like satire is how the movie was shot. It’s got that Parks and Recreation feel without all the characters. Like if you watched an episode on mute and looked at the camera angles and light angles, that would be this movie.
If you are looking to jump outside your box or have scrolled through netflix for 20 minutes and have not decided on anything, I’d say go ahead and try Butter. This movie is ok enough to keep you interested the entire time; just when you may find yourself bored they throw something at you to stay interested. And you never know, you may like this movie more than I did and you can school me on why.
2.4/ 5 stars
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