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Film Review: Ben Stiller in Character For Thoughtful ‘Brad’s Status’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Everyone comes to the point when they question their choices, their life and their truth. This concept is filtered through Ben Stiller in Brad’s Status, portraying a Dad taking his son for college visits, analyzing his life through the boy, his friends, plus his own angst and fears.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This is written and directed by Mike White (who also has a small role), his first major director debut. White has fun with the character of Brad, as well as steering him to his truth. Although Stiller’s Brad seems to have it all… comfortable lifestyle, devoted wife and loyal son, he is bedeviled by the “what ifs” and comparisons to his old college friends that start to strangle his life. It all comes together with the college visit, as Brad goes through a series of situations that test his confidence and viability. What makes this all work – and takes it away from the problems of the “first world” – is the actual persona of Brad, who individually wrestles with these problems for no apparent reason, which becomes clearer as he goes through the looking glass of his own life. There are some nice symphonic realizations that occur, and a redemption for the main character.

Brad Sloan (Stiller) is at a crossroads in his life, everything he thinks about and touches seems unfamiliar to him. This is exacerbated when he takes his musician son Troy (Austin Abrams) to the East Coast for some college visits, including Harvard and his own alma mater, Tufts. Brad switches all gears toward his son, which causes a bit of strain during the trip.

When a Harvard meeting is missed, Brad gets it rescheduled by calling upon Craig (Michael Sheen), and old college buddy who now is a TV personality. This gets Brad to think about his other college buddies Billy (Jemaine Clement), Nick (Mike White) and Jason (Luke Wilson), who have all found success, and in making comparisons this is part of Brad’s downward spiral.

“Brad’s Status” opened everywhere on September 22nd. Featuring Ben Stiller, Jenna Fischer, Austin Abrams, Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement, Luke Wilson, and Mike White. Written and directed by Mike White. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Brad’s Status”

Brad1
Dad Brad (Ben Stiller) and Son Troy (Austin Abrams) in ‘Brad’s Status’
Photo credit: Annapurna Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Brad’s Status”

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