‘Butter’ movie review: Comedy-drama about an overweight, bulled teen is sweet and likable.

‘Butter’ movie review: Comedy-drama about an overweight, bulled teen is sweet and likable.

Butter, as the protagonist is known — following a classmate (Jake Austin Walker) forces him to eat a full stick — looks to have all the things he requires in life, except somebody to hear to him. His distant, perfectionist father (Brian Van Holt) and doting but clueless mom (Mira Sorvino), who serves him artery-clogging parts of his most loved junk food, deny him absolutely nothing. They’ve even offered him a sporty blue Mustang.

But none of this can make Butter joyful. The large school junior harbors a crush on Anna (McKaley Miller of “Hart of Dixie”), the prettiest female in course. Hiding at the rear of a virtual persona, he chats with her on the web. A gifted saxophone player, he even writes her a track, and she falls for this secret lover. But when he attempts to converse to her in true lifetime, it is a disaster, and he nurses his psychic wounds with a quick-food stuff binge, recounted in hard-boiled narration: “I couldn’t keep in mind what everything had tasted like, but I experienced to hold having. . . . I ate to ease my suffering. . . . I ate to forget.”

There’s at minimum one supportive adult at faculty: Butter’s tunes instructor (Mykelti Williamson) recognizes his expertise and invites him to sit in with his jazz team for a New Year’s Eve gig. Nevertheless, Butter’s self-esteem is so broken that he announces his very own, alternate strategy. But when classmates find the internet site he’s established up to document his suicide, a thing curious occurs: Although some die-hard bullies still make fun of him, many others — like Trent (Adain Bradley), who receives to know Butter — appear to be to genuinely like him. Even Anna, who does not recognize that Butter is her on the web suitor, starts speaking to him. What would transpire if she located out he’s the boy she’s been chatting with on the web?

The plot of “Butter” vaguely recollects the Frank Capra vintage “Meet John Doe,” which likewise revolved all around the scheduling of a sensationalistic suicide. (You may possibly simply call this “Eat John Doe.”) And with a slick appear from cinematographer Greg Gardiner, “Butter” sort of plays like a variation of Capra’s truly feel-fantastic shtick (in some cases recognized as “Capra-corn”) for the Nickelodeon set. This helps make sense in a way, because one of Butter’s classmates is performed by Jack Griffo of the Nickelodeon clearly show “The Thundermans.”

That children-display sheen is considerably unfortunate, because it undercuts the film’s darker themes, bubbling below the cookie-cutter banality. While the movie is on a person stage a cautionary tale about schoolyard taunts and obesity, it also would seem to be about some thing, er, more substantial: a society that is obsessed with overall look, when also, paradoxically, encouraging overconsumption.

Some of these teenagers look like inventory figures: the bully, the well-liked female, the band nerd. But in the guide roles, Kersting and Miller appear throughout like real young people making an attempt to discover their put in the planet. In his very first significant part, Kersting properly navigates a good line, convincing us that he is each an alienated pariah and a musical prodigy. Butter isn’t just a sufferer to be pitied he has company, and you root for him to make the appropriate possibilities.

“Butter” doesn’t have a fairy-tale ending, but it even now feels a small pat in the close, and a several of the monologues audio like some thing out of a community provider announcement. Finally, it is, like its conflicted hero, sweet and likable, and you desire it well.

PG-13. At region theaters. Contains experienced thematic product involving suicide, crude sexual humor, sturdy language and consuming — all involving teens. 110 minutes.