If you haven’t seen Butter, I insist you grab some take out on your way home from work and watch it tonight. Don’t argue with Auntie Selena.
Neither the movie poster nor the trailer (see both below) for Butter do the movie any justice. From the trailer, it looks like this is a movie about catty white women. Which it is, to an extent, but the real star of this story is a ten-year-old black girl named Destiny. She made it into the trailer, briefly, but she’s nowhere on the movie poster. I demand a recount.
I think this is a much better poster.
Aside from my branding/marketing quibbles, Butter is a fantastic movie filled with interesting women characters and the biting satire I require in order to feed the darkness inside of me. It reminds me of other smaller comedies like Election and Waitress. The entire cast hits it out of the park, including Jennifer Garner as the horrible, racist, no good, very bad, Laura Pickler. Ty Burrell as her butter-carving prodigy husband, Bob, Olivia Wilde as Bob’s stripper, Brooke, and Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry as Destiny’s foster parents. Corddry and Shahidi share a moment before Destiny walks into the Moose Hall to register for the butter carving competition that made me laugh so hard I nearly cried.
Ethan Emmet: Don’t tell Jill, she always likes me to think positive, but what I like to do is this: I would imagine all of the bad things that could possibly happen if you enter this contest. Like, you could die of a tragic butter overdose. There could be a rabid grizzly bear hiding inside this very moose lodge ready to tear your face off.
Destiny: There could be a python inside.
Ethan: What if this place is full of monkeys with a deadly virus?
Destiny: There could be the ghost of Hitler.
Ethan: What if there’s no gravity in there and you float up and bang your head on the ceiling and then all of a sudden gravity kicks in and then you bang your head on the floor?
Destiny: There could be a black hole that would suck me all up.
Ethan: It could happen. What if this place is full of good looking British vampires?
Destiny: The worst of all of them.
Ethan: They’re so pale.
Destiny: Or hungry cannibals!
Ethan: Who only eat adorable little girls
Destiny: Or racist ninjas!
Ethan: Haha racist ninjas, that’s a good one, you get a high five.
Ethan: So think about all of that and ask yourself, really what’s the worst that can happen?
Destiny: I could be terrible and lose.
Ethan: Yeah, yeah, you could, but could you live with that?
Critics argued that the moralizing in this film was over-the-top, and that the satire wasn’t over-the-top enough, and they may have a point, but I wasn’t swayed from really enjoying the movie and the performances. Olivia Wilde, especially, was fantastic in her role, and was just delightfully funny. I’ve never seen her in a comedic role, I hope to see her in many more.
As I mentioned, the real breakout star of Butter was Yara Shahidi. She displays great timing, wisdom beyond her years, and great chemistry with the rest of the cast.
Go watch Butter. Right now. And keep an eye out for racist ninjas.