“Butter” directed by Jim Field Smith


            “Butter” is a story about people competing in the Iowa State Fair’s annual butter sculpting competition.  It centers around a veteran butter sculptor Bob Pickler and his tightly-wound wife Laura.  Bob has won the sculpting competition 15 years in a row and is a rock star in his community.  Meanwhile, Laura has big dreams for Bob past the competition, often mentioning what a wonderful governor she thinks Bob would be.  Bob clearly feels smothered by Laura’s relentless enthusiasm and her love of the spotlight. When the competition judges ask Bob to retire to make way for new sculptors and Bob doesn’t protest, Laura becomes enraged and decides to enter the competition herself.

            Laura’s competition is an 11-year-old foster child named Destiny.  Destiny has recently been placed with a middle class family in Iowa after a string of foster home situations that didn’t work out.  She is adorable and sincere, deciding to enter the competition in part to prove to herself and to others that she is “finally good at something,” because she had been so discouraged by her former foster parents.

            There are a few other butter sculptors vying for the blue ribbon, including a money-grubbing stripper named Brooke, who is conveniently trying to blackmail Bob for rent money promised to her during a backseat tryst.  Her story line is somewhat predictable, but her character is funny and her scenes add a little edge to this otherwise wholesome(ish) plot.

            All in all, “Butter” was a witty and sarcastic look at the bizarre world of State Fair sanctioned competitive butter sculpting.  The cast works well together and the ending leaves you feeling like all is right with the world…at least the world of butter.


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