Brad's Status Film Review :
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“Brad’s Status” might be the most Ben Stillerish movie Ben Stiller has ever made, and that’s actually a good thing.
The actor and director has made much of his career out of playing comically miserable men: self-centered, frustrated, passive-aggressively perturbed. In films including “While We’re Young,” “Greenberg” and to an extent the “Meet the Parents” franchise, these are arrogant characters who are easy to laugh at but difficult to like.
Writer/director Mike White recognizes that innate contradiction and reconciles it in the biting satire “Brad’s Status,” giving Stiller a juicy role that’s sharply funny and surprisingly poignant.
Despite the specific nature of the character Stiller plays, “Brad’s Status” finds a universality in the uncomfortable truths it explores: the human tendency to take stock, especially around middle age, and to compare our lives against both our friends’ achievements and our youthful visions of our future selves.
Brad’s not terribly happy with his status these days as he heads to New England to visit colleges with his teenage son, Troy (Austin Abrams). He has a comfortable life in Sacramento with his loving, easygoing wife, Melanie (Jenna Fischer), and a job running a non-profit, an extension of his lifelong idealism. Troy, a musical prodigy, is a thoughtful, talented kid with an obviously bright future—a legitimate contender for elite universities like Harvard, Yale and Tufts.
A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life’s choices. From the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, Phil Brown reviews Mike White’s hysterical Woody Allen-esque comedy Brad’s Status …