Completed over a year ago when Sarah Palin was more of a phenom and less of a footnote, this rancid political comedy imagines a butter-carving showdown between a pageant-pretty, scheming, conservative wife (Jennifer Garner, incorporating Palin-esque mannerisms to play a Mean Girl) and a talented, open-minded African-American foster child (Yara Shahidi). Any allusions to the former governor of Alaska and Barack Obama are, I’m guessing, intentional — and every joke falls flat. Self-righteous and smug in its use of heartland stereotypes, the movie backfires by assuming that its intended liberal audience is just as intolerant and condescending as the conservative opposition insists it is. (Available on VOD; in theaters Oct. 5) D+
SLIPPERY SLOPE Jennifer Garner has a talent for carving in Butter (Steve Dietl)
Genre: Drama; Starring: Ty Burrell, Jennifer Garner; Director: Jim Field Smith; Runtime (in minutes): 92; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Posted September 21 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
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