Butter is a Jason Micallef script “that uses a butter-carving contest at the Iowa State Fair as a metaphor for 2008’s Hilary versus Obama Iowa caucus showdown,” which won a Nicholl Fellowship and made the 2009 Black List. Ergo, it’s probably pretty good. So what has The Weinstein Company done to it? Why, they’re trying to hire Kate Hudson and Jim Carrey, according to Vulture:
Carrey playing a philandering, Bill Clinton–esque repeat sculpting champion who is forced to stop competing because he’s “termed out.” When his long-suffering wife (Jennifer Garner is already signed on) finally steps up for her chance to become America’s next top dairy queen, she’s pitted against a 12-year-old African-American girl in foster care. Hudson would co-star as the Carrey character’s illicit paramour.
That sounds like a promising concept. And although Jim Carrey and Kate Hudson were both at one point in their careers actors I enjoyed (Eternal Sunshine, Almost Famous), after like 15 Bride Wars and Fun with Dicks and Jane in a row, their presence is now a net negative.
I hate how studios try to cast comedies the same way they would an action movie — get big-name actors, any big-name actors, just to raise the project’s profile, rather than just using comedians or unknowns (consider that the cast of The Hangover were once considered too under-the-radar to warrant funding). Sony did the same thing with Bad Teacher and Cameron Diaz, another black-list comedy. It doesn’t work that way for comedy. Yes, Jim Carrey, Kate Hudson, and Cameron Diaz are all stars with high profiles. The problem is, they’ve also become known for being in crappy comedies. Giving them a good script to work with is like getting Louis CK to write jokes for Larry the Cable Guy. They might be funny, but the audience that would actually enjoy them ain’t gonna hear them.