Mike White pulls triple-duty as writer/director/actor in the new dramady, “Brad’s Status”. The film stars Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams and Jenna Fischer, with supporting roles for White, Michael Sheen, Jermaine Clement and Luke Wilson. That is a pretty impressive cast. I just wish they had better material to work with.
Brad Sloan (Stiller) is unhappy with his status in life. His college friends have seemingly become huge successes in life, but Brad doesn’t feel like he has achieved much. Brad’s son Troy (Abrams) is a brilliant musician and student who is trying to get into Harvard Law School. When Troy gets his interview date with admissions wrong, Brad reaches out to his old friend Craig (Sheen) to put in a good word with the Dean of Admissions.
Most of “Brad’s Status” consists of Brad questioning his place in life while his son deals with the stresses of getting into college. There is an interesting film in there somewhere but I found myself getting completely bored with Brad’s issues which aren’t really issues to begin with.
White has had some impressive screenplays produced (“School of Rock”, “Orange County”), but as a filmmaker, he still needs some work. The cast does their best, and there is some good writing here, but I just found it hard to sympathize or even relate to the film’s main character, and by half-way through I didn’t even care.
By: Marc Ferman