Duck Butter Review (Tribeca Film Festival 2018)

By Melissa Farinelli


Duck Butter is a film by Miguel Arteta, backed by the Duplass Brothers, starring Laia Costa and Alia Shawkat (who also co-wrote the screen play) as two women, spurned by broken relationships from lovers and family, that decide to spend 24 hours together, having sex on the hour, in an extreme exercise to get to know about each other. The premise is as scintillating as it is simple, but also attempts to deliver something more tangible and grounded in it's execution.

Sadly, it fails along the way. The first act starts with great promise but then everything slowly devolves into the tired manic-pixie tropes you've seen before. It's well acted, efficiently shot, but muddle in its purpose. As the experiment trudges on it becomes increasing hard to want to like these characters or even root for their success. Maybe that's the point. Real people are messy and flawed. They to do crazy things to get the attention of people they don't fully understand. But the package feels awkward and often forced, and the payoff is too little to justify all the pomp. It's unfortunate, considering the caliber of talent behind this project.

If you already enjoy intimate slice of life stories then you might find more to like with this entry. But if there is a lesson to be learned about the human condition here, I am hard pressed to find it.