The trailer for the long-delayed comedy Butter has gone online. The film premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but was pushed back from March 2012 to October in order to capitalize on the upcoming Presidential election (even though it has nothing to do with this year’s election). I was eagerly anticipating the flick, but when I saw it at TIFF, it turned out to be a massive disappointment. The movie has several different tones, and has no idea how to fully develop any of them. The plot is supposed to be a satire of the 2008 Democratic primary where a wronged spouse (Jennifer Garner) attempts to win her husband’s (Ty Burrell) butter-carving title only to meet stiff competition from a young black girl named Destiny (Yara Shahidi). The trailer briefly touches on the political bit, but plays more towards the delightful dark comedy of the film while hiding all the saccharine stuff.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone, Ashley Greene, and Hugh Jackman. Butter opens October 5th.
It looked as thought the Weinstein Company would give Butter a limited Oscar-qualifying run in 2011 before opening the film wide in 2012, but that may no longer be the case. The studio has just launched a viral website for the movie along with the first clip. The clip features aspiring butter carving champion Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner) giving a speech for why her butter statue deserves to win. You’ll see that Garner is going full-Palin in her performance, which is an odd choice since the script initially sets up the satire that Pickler is a Hillary Clinton-type figure: her husband (Ty Burrell) is the former butter carving champion and he cheats on her but she’s keeping her politicial aspirations high since because she believes winning at butter carving will help launch her campaign for governor. As I said in my review, if Butter had simply picked a tone and stuck with it, the movie probably wouldn’t have been such a disappointing mess.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone, Yara Shahidi, Kristen Schaal, and Hugh Jackman. No release date has been announced for Butter. [Update: We have removed the clip and the link to the site at the request of The Weinstein Company because the site and the clip aren't ready for public consumption yet.]
Jim Field Smith’s Butter could have been a scathing political satire. It could have been a wicked dark comedy. It could have even been a heartwarming family drama. Instead, Butter tries to be all of these things and only manages to squeeze out occasional bits of humor and heart from any of them. The film is endlessly frustrating, consistently disappointing, and one where every missed opportunity is a stinging reminder of how this could have been a great movie.
Earlier today, we reported that Olivia Wilde and Alicia Silverstone had joined the cast of the political satire Butter. Variety now reports that Hugh Jackman is also on board to co-star in the film which begins shooting this month. The actor was scheduled to shoot the comedy Avon Man this month in Atlanta but Production Weekly reports [via The Playlist] that the offices for that film have been shut down.
The comedy, directed by Jim Field Smith (She’s Out of My League), is based on the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary except instead of running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, it’s about a competition to win the title of local butter-carving champion. Jennifer Garner plays an ambitious Midwestern woman whose filandering husband (Ty Burrell) previously won the title. The main competitor of Garner’s character is a teenage African-American girl (Yara Shahidi). The cast also includes Ashley Greene (Twilight) and Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine. Jason Micallef’s script for the film landed on last year’s Black List, which is the list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Jackman will play an old flame of Garner’s character.
Hit the jump for the official press release.