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Stream It: BUTTER

Spread the satire.

Stream It: BUTTER

Title: Butter
Year: 2011
Fix: White People Are Weird, Ensemble Comedy, Satire
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

When a gifted butter sculptor announces his retirement, his ambitious wife sees her hopes for future fame -- and the presidency -- melt away.

FYA Summary:

Bob Pickler has won the Iowa state butter-carving contest for fifteen years now, much to the satisfaction of his tightly-wound, ambitious wife Laura. When the organizers suggest that it’s time for him to pass the torch onto a new winner, though, Laura is Not Having It. How is he going to become governor, let alone President, if he just…gives up? Where is the loyalty? What will happen if she’s not the Butter Carving Champion’s Wife anymore?

Well…Laura’s just going to have to learn to do this—and win—herself. And no one is going to get in her way.

Familiar Faces:

Ty Burrell as Bob Pickler

Bob Pickler is an even bigger sad sack than Phil Dunphy, which Ty Burrell plays to great effect. (Does he ever play a reasonably intelligent dude with a fully-formed spine?)

Jennifer Garner as Laura Pickler

I love Jennifer Garner so much, and I am tired of seeing her get relegated to “middle-aged mom” roles now (I make an exception for Love, Simon, of course). She could’ve been a romantic comedy queen, if only Hollywood weren’t just now figuring out that rom-coms are wanted/needed/can make money. Again. Watching her as uptight Laura is almost as good, though—her comedic timing has always been great, and Butter is no exception.

Yara Shahidi as Destiny

When I was writing this post, I saw that Yara was born in the year 2000, which is not allowed. Just so you know.

Alicia Silverstone as Jill

Damn, Cher, looking good!

Ashley Greene as Kaitlyn Pickler

Olivia Wilde as Brooke

Hugh Jackman as Boyd Bolton

Couch-Sharing Capability: Good

I love butter, the food, and I enjoyed Butter, the movie, only slightly less than a slice of thick, lightly toasted sourdough spread with delicious dairy. (Do not trust me around butter sculptures, folks. I’m likely to snap off a finger from the creamy Last Supper to better serve my toast.) I don’t know that I would have paid much attention or made it all the way through it if I were watching alone (I tend to watch rom-coms and BBC period pieces in that case), but it was a good date-night-in choice.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium-High, Depending on the News Cycle

Remember 2011? Remember when Obama was America’s president and we didn’t live in fear of what a sentient Cheeto with anger management issues would do on any given day? Things weren’t perfect, by any stretch, but at least years actually felt one year long and not a decade. That’s the land of Butter: it satirizes racism and classism in a far gentler way than one could (and should) get away with now. In general, I think it’s aged pretty well, but it didn’t go quite as hard as I wanted in order to be fully satisfied.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Try It Before You Buy It

This is another movie perfect for streaming—I doubt I would have seen it in the theaters, but at home, in my Fancy Sweatpants, where I can pause it and satisfy all of my creamy churned dairy desires—now that’s how I like to consume my media!

Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. She is also a literary agent. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, and thrifts for vintage everything.