I was lucky enough to see “Butter” at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival with four wonderful friends. “Butter” starred Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell (from Modern Family), Olivia Wilde (men start drooling now), Hugh Jackman (sorry, ladies, no drooling with his role here!) and the little girl who stole the show, Yara Shahidi. Jennifer Garner’s role of Laura Pickler reminded me of Nicole Kidman’s role in “To Die For” as she was SO consumed with herself and took this rather silly competition of elaborate butter sculpting at a state fair so seriously. She stopped at nothing to win this contest. A contest involving butter sculpting...Please! I really thought this might be a really ridiculous movie based on the premise, but it was hilarious!
Butter sculpting was taken very seriously by all those involved and Jennifer Garner nailed the role of Midwestern Socialite Wannabe. Her perfectionistic qualities spilled over into every aspect of her life and brutally limited every possibility of fun, at least from her perspective. From my seat, it was hilarious! Laura Pickler was a control freak extraordinaire. The funny thing was that you understood her...or maybe it was just me that understood her. Hmmmm...control freak? Perfectionist? Nah, I’ll dismiss that thought before it starts to bother me. Anyway, Ty Burrell played his typical Modern Family Dad/Husband role, and Olivia Wilde had some pretty fun and risque scenes! (Again, men, please continue drooling at this point.) Hugh Jackman has a small, but vital role as the not-too-bright-but-buff used car salesman. He was truly a total dork. That shows you his acting capabilities! If Hugh Jackman can take the screen and be unappealing, that’s talent. The little girl that Jennifer Garner was pitted against in butter sculpting was the adorable Yara Shahidi. She captured the essence of a repeatedly abandoned orphan, tossed from foster home to foster home. She finally landed with a loving couple (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry) who did everything to encourage her artistic abilities; especially those that revolved around, yes, you guessed it, butter sculpting. They were the parents she needed. With their inexperience as parents, we find even more humorous situations and as a parent, have total empathy for them.
This movie was complete with humor, a bit of sex, a little raunchy in parts, sweetness, the pulling of heart strings, and great, albeit predictable, story all played out by a talented cast.
After the movie, we all laughed as we recaptured different parts of the film. We all agreed that this was a total fluff movie, but well worth seeing! Laughing is great fun and we need more of it! There was really no thought provoking aspects to this movie nor were there any great lessons to be learned. A silly concept was utilized to show us some of our weaker human qualities such as greed and jealousy, and made it funny. There were also some heartwarming, sweet moments that made you audibly say, “Awww.” This was my kind of movie...total escapism.