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DVD Review: Spinning Into Butter

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Welcome to Spinning Into Butter, a sub-par motion picture based on a mediocre play by an Alabama playwright by the name of Rebecca Gilman. The story takes place at a peaceful New England college campus, where everything is thrown into a state of disarray following the posting of a note reading “Little Black Sambo” on a black student’s door. The college faculty, all of whom are white, are very upset by this. They employ their dean, Sarah Daniels (Sarah Jessica Parker, looking like she was rode hard and put away wet) to handle the whole thing, based on her past history of working in inner-city schools (or, in old white college faculty terms: she’s worked with those colored folk).

Soon, before you can say “hate crime,” students of every color and creed are citing racism against just about any word spoken in an uncertain light. The presence of reporter Aaron Carmichael (Mykelti Williamson) probably isn’t helping any — and not because he’s black, either, but because he’s a reporter. During the run of the whole commonplace film, Sarah and the others confront their own prejudices — no matter how small they are or how oblivious they may be about said prejudices. In the end, the movie offers one message: everybody is racist. Plain and simple.

The whole world? Racist? Say it isn’t so! Indeed it is very easy to cite somebody as a racist for saying the most innocent of things. Next thing you know, someone’s flying off the handle. We live in a world where people are ultra-sensitive. And they have every right to be. Throughout the centuries, cultures and creeds have been abused, misunderstood, or downright ignored. It’s still happening, too — and it’s not something that is likely to change overnight, no matter how many Miss America contestants wish for it. We must work together to tear down the walls we have constructed around ourselves (and others). Too bad the writers of Spinning Into Butter weren’t able to convey the same message — instead, they just sort of imply that everybody in the whole wide world is racist. Plain and simple.

But it’s not that simple, is it? Somebody should’ve told Rebecca Gilman that. Perhaps, if they had told her, I wouldn’t have had to waste 89 minutes on Spinning Into Butter.

Spinning Into Butter makes its way to DVD courtesy Screen Media Films, in an anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen presentation accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby Digital English audio track. Screen Media Films probably knew they didn’t have much of a winner on their hands here, since there aren’t any special features included with this flick other than a few trailers. Apparently they didn‘t think any Butter-related bonus materials were necessary.

Well, either that or they were racist.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.