For parents of college-age kids, it can seem like only yesterday that they were the ones applying hopefully to the Ivy League schools. That’s the case for Ben Stiller‘s character Brad, who’s thrown into a full-blown midlife crisis while accompanying his son Troy (The Walking Dead‘s Austin Abrams) to college interviews in the Amazon Studios film Brad’s Status (in theaters on Sept. 15). Though Brad lives a comfortable suburban life with his wife (Jenna Fischer), the nonprofit worker has fallen short of the big dreams that some of his college friends — played by Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, Michael Sheen, and the film’s writer-director Mike White — have achieved. Is his idealistic musician son destined for the same disappointment? Watch the trailer above.
White, the screenwriter of School of Rock, The Good Girl, and most recently, Beatriz at Dinner, has a gift for bringing awkward moments to the screen in ways that are funny, believable, and often deeply uncomfortable. Though he directed several episodes of Enlightened, the critically acclaimed but little-watched HBO series he created, Brad’s Status is only White’s second feature film as director. (His directorial debut was the 2007 black comedy Year of the Dog starring Molly Shannon). As for Stiller, he’s already had a few midlife crises on the big screen, notably in 2014’s While We’re Young — but if anyone can shine a new light on Stiller’s neuroses, Mike White is the guy.
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