Brad’s Status struck me as a very modern film. The film’s theme of jealousy of others’ success is one which almost everyone can relate to, especially in this modern era where updates of old acquaintances are just a scan of the Facebook newsfeed away.
Ben Stiller headlines the film as midlife crisis-stricken Brad Sloan, going around Boston on a college tour with his teenage son Troy, played by Austin Abrams. While on the trip, Brad gets bothered by thoughts of his college group, and how each member of his group has achieved success in their respective field except him, One of his old friends became a bestselling author while another started a successful hedge fund. One even retired before 40 by selling his tech company. Meanwhile, Brad maintains a struggling non-profit company and lives a typical suburban life with his perpetually contented wife and well-meaning son. When Troy messes up and misses his interview with Harvard, which his counselor thinks he has a good shot at being accepted to, Brad has no choice but to try to pull a few string by reconnecting with an old college pal to get his son another chance for an interview.
The movie has a very chill vibe. There are no big action or drama pieces; it’s just a character study on Brad and his midlife crisis. The interesting thing is that Brad is quite a complex character – some would probably sympathize with him, while others would probably see him as entitled and greedy. The biggest plot line in the movie is probably how Brad would remedy his jealousy and discontent, and the touching last minutes of the film between father and son hit the mark for me.
Brad’s Status is a great indie film bolstered by great chemistry between Ben Stiller and Austin Abrams.