By Blake Zipoy
The film Butter is based in Iowa and centers around what seems to be the only thing of importance in Iowa, if you believe this story, competitive butter carving. That’s right you heard me the first time. The film stars Ty Burrell (of Modern Family fame) as Bob, a 15-time winning state butter carving winner and Jennifer Garner as Laura, his domineering, extremely rigid wife.
Bob is asked to step aside as the butter king, but his wife Laura does not want to lose their celebrity, so she decides to take on the challenge of being the new queen of Iowabutter carving. Now comes the tricky part. In comes Destiny, a 10-year old ward of the state played very well by Yara Shahidi. She has been bounced from home to home until she finally winds up in the loving home of Jill, played by Alicia Silverstone, and Ethan, played by Rob Corddry. There she discovers butter-carving and thus becomes Laura’s rival for the coveted county representative at the state fair butter carving contest. Throw in a sleazy stripper, played by Olivia Wilde, who is sleeping with Bob, and you have some real drama. Right? Not really. I have to admit, I did not enjoy the first half of the film. Yara Shahidi is delightful as Destiny and how she quietly maneuvers through the film is done so well, you cannot help loving her in the end. Rob Corddry was also a surprise. I usually don’t like the brash characters he normally plays, but this film showed a different side that was both funny and likeable. I hope he chooses more roles like this in the future. Ty Burrell was so submissive in this film, he almost disappears completely, and Jennifer Garner was a little too heavy in her performance. There is a small cameo of Hugh Jackman as a past flame of Laura, but nothing to get too excited about. Now I am a fan of movies that surprise me. The biggest surprise is Destiny and what she creates. The rest of the film is pretty predicable. Just like a butter carving, Butter tries to be creative using the same old ingredients.