In an odd turn of events at the star-studded premiere of The Weinstein Co.'s "Butter" this evening in Toronto, the company's co-founder Harvey Weinstein (in a clear attempt to drum up press) released a statement - as read by actress Olivia Wilde - in which he invites Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host the film's alleged Iowa premiere with him in a few months.
The statement begins with Weinstein thanking the film's cast and crew, before launching into a satirical overture to the Minnesota Congresswoman to attend the movie's upcoming premiere in the Hawkeye State, where the film is set. He also offers to fly in "other leading members of the Tea Party movement" and tosses out a few barbs regarding the Constitution, gay rights, and balancing the budget.
As first noted by our own critic Gregory Ellwood, who recentlly reviewed the film at the Telluride Film Festival, Jennifer Garner "channels" Bachmann in her portrayal of Laura Pickler, the conniving wife of a champion butter carver who harbors political aspirations for her husband, played by Ty Burrell.
Though Weinstein notes that Bachmann can "save some money on airfare and travel" by suggesting that at the time of the film's premiere she'll already be in the state for the Iowa Caucuses (currently scheduled for February 6th), the film's actual release date hasn't actually been set yet. So unless we hear otherwise, we'll assume this is just a savvy ploy for publicity.
You can read Weinstein's full statement below:
"Thank you everyone for coming out tonight. I want to start by thanking Jason Micallef who wrote the great script to BUTTER, I want to thank Jim Field Smith who did a wonderful job of directing, and I want to thank Mike DeLuca, Jennifer Garner, Alissa Phillips and Juliana Janes for producing a movie I'm so proud of. I must thank my own spectacular team, especially Kelly Carmichael and Matt Garner.
But I also want to thank Jason Reitman. Jason was an inspiration and guiding light for this film. I love his movies and I love his dad's movies. Jason is a great cinema lover and one of the smartest people I've met in this industry.
In 20 years of coming to the Toronto Film Festival, I've never released a statement for a film. But I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, to co-host with me the big premiere of BUTTER in Iowa in a few months from now. I know Michele will already be in Iowa for the caucus, so we can save some money on airfare and travel.
I would of course be more than happy to fly in the other leading members of the Tea Party movement to make an entire day of it. We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, brush up on the Constitution in the afternoon, play some ping-pong and then maybe some verbal ping-pong on gay rights and women's rights (especially the right to choose).
But at night we can all go hand-in-hand to the premiere of BUTTER, a fun and important film where we'll share some popcorn and laughs. These are the kind of bipartisan effort that makes America great.
I look forward to hearing from Michele and I'm particularly looking forward to those classes on the Constitution.”
All my best,