One of Hollywood's dirty little secrets is that industry types understand conservative and Christian bashing story lines can be a tough sell at the box office.
It's why actors will often pretend their politically charged movies are fair and balanced when they're clearly not, and why trailers like the new teaser for "Butter" cover up some, but not all, of the partisan broadsides to come.
Breitbart News has yet to screen "Butter," which arrives via VOD September 7 and in theaters October 5. The film worked the festival circuit months ago, resulting in several "Butter" reviews hitting the web for all to see.
Here's a choice selection from Entertainment Weekly's take on the film:
... for my vote, the movie has the backfiring effect of making its liberal core audience look just as smug, self-righteous, and condescending as conservative opposition insists it is. The dairy product in the title refers to a butter-carving competition that climaxes in a showdown between a pageant-pretty, small-minded, scheming, conservative heartland wife with the vinegar-y name of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner) and a talented, open-minded African-American foster child with the sweet, Beyoncé-like name of Destiny (Yara Shahidi). Any allusions to Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are strictly intentional, especially since Garner plays around with a Palinesque voice and accent.
Another review hits similar notes:
What makes Butter so bad is that it aspires to be this deeply lacerating satire of conservative America, but simply doesn't have the teeth to be effective or even remotely amusing. Jennifer Garner's character, Laura, is obviously supposed to be a Michelle Bachman/ Sarah Palin caricature ...
The film's trailer does indicate a hybrid Palin/Bachmann character, although clearly the emphasis is on the wacky high jinks that ensue when a spurned woman tries to out-carve her husband's political ambitions.
The aformentioned reviews hint at the film's true purpose, and producer Harvey Weinstein's festival stunt inviting the real Bachmann to see the movie confirms that suspicion. We'll have to see if "Butter" rises above its ideological sucker punches to reveal a comedy both sides of the political aisle can applaud.