BUTTER

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

“Butter” is a star-studded jaunt into Midwest humor that doesn’t hit its mark but still entertains the number of recognizable faces it contains. In cameos, Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde show just how impressive they are, as they steal the show on more than one occasion, as does the young Yara Shahidi. The rest of the cast plays their parts accordingly and never really goes above and beyond. Is it just me, or is it tough to see Ty Burrell in anything but “Modern Family”? Many directors take jabs at Midwest humor, including Michael Patrick Jann with “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” Christopher Guest with many of his films, and now Jim Field Smith (“She’s Out Of My League”). Although the sport of butter carving does scream some Midwest mentalities, “Butter” never accomplishes the mocking annals that the previous directors’ work.

Carrying very few laughs, the most exciting work done in the film is the character development, with strong characters forming, mostly against type, like that of Jackman and his auto salesman character. Jennifer Garner’s character is the perfect villain, with a spot-on, prissy performance that makes you hate her from start to finish. If “Butter” had done more than just scratch the satire’s surface, this could have been a much more memorable film. Instead, it remains an average attempt at poking fun at deep-fried on a stick, Middle Americans.

RELEASE DATE
October 5, 2012

DIRECTOR
Jim Field Smith

WRITTEN BY
Jason Micallef

STUDIO
RADiUS-TWC

R
(for language and sexual content)

COMEDY
DRAMA

91 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Jim Denault

COMPOSER
Mateo Messina

EDITOR
Matt Garner
Dan Schalk

CAST
Jennifer Garner
Yara Shahidi
Ty Burrell
Olivia Wilde
Rob Corddry
Ashley Greene
Alicia Silverstone
Hugh Jackman
Phyllis Smith

PRODUCED BY
Michael De Luca
Jennifer Garner
Alissa Phillips

BUDGET
$10.8 million

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