Ben Stiller stars in Mike White’s Brad’s Status as a 47-year-old man who resents how little he’s accomplished in his life. He’s jealous of all of his college friends who he perceives as being more successful than him because of their fame and money. When Troy, Brad’s son, starts looking at colleges, Brad projects his own dreams, aspirations, and fears onto his son.
The first 15 minutes of the film would have made an enjoyable short film. I should start by saying that Ben Stiller is really great as this unlikeable and annoying character, but all he does is complain for 101 minutes. (Want some cheese with that whine?) I would have loved to have read Mike White’s screenplay as an actual novel. Brad has quite a few voiceovers in the film that would have been easier to digest and process in ink and more detail.
At one point in Brad’s Status, one character says to Brad that all of his problems of the white, male, middle-class, first-world variety and there are so many things going on in the world that are bigger than just him. We’re supposed to feel bad for Brad, or even just understand his view point. But I don’t.
Public Screenings: Sept 10 11:45 am, Sept 16 9:30 pm