The story centers on a butter sculpture contest. Laura (Jennifer Garner) is married to Bob, a master butter sculpture artist, which has brought their family lots of prestige and fanfare in their smalltown community. Laura doesn’t want to give that up, so when Bob decides to skip the contest this year, Laura takes it upon herself to learn how to carve a sculpture out of butter and enter herself.
Considering her initial look at the competition, it looks like the family streak will continue. However, the best laid plans… Bob goes to a strip club, something very out of character, and ends up having sex with one of the strippers, Brooke (played by the inimitable and goddess-like Olivia Wilde).
Brooke insists he didn’t pay her for the sex, and starts harassing him at home. When it looks like he isn’t going to pay, she approaches his daughter to see if she can get a hold of the money. Things go a little too far, but Brooke does get the money she wanted. However, after Brooke sees what Laura is like, she decides to mess with her, just because she can.
What does she do? She enters the butter sculpture contest.
But the real part of the story is Destiny (Yara Shahidi). She goes to live with a very nice family (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry) and accidentally discovers her talent for art and sculpture. When she finds out about a contest for butter sculptures, she wants to enter. Though her foster parents think it’s a little “redneck”-ish or “hick”-ish, they want to support her and make sure she knows it.
Destiny has a real talent, and while Laura’s ability is formidable, her work lacks the depth and emotional weight that a true artist is able to bring to her work.
Though it centers on a somewhat silly concept, a butter sculpture contest, the actors, especially young Shahidi, light it up in a way that makes it a really enjoyable movie. I hate seeing Jen Garner play a bitch, but I will admit, she does it well. Though we’re used to seeing her as the good girl, it’s easy to fall for Destiny as the protagonist. And Wilde, what an incredibly fun, crazy role for her! Swearing, screwing, and going hardcore wild child all through the movie, while helping out Destiny with what seems to be pure affection, her Brooke is pretty unforgettable.
The story itself is a little lackluster at times, and could have gone a little deeper to bring out some more humor and heartache, mostly on Destiny’s behalf, but overall, this was a funny, sweet film with some awesome talent surrounding an unusual part of Americana.
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