Ben Stiller works best outside of the traditional comedy. Sure, he’ll always get a laugh from his audiences no matter what he’s in, but he tends to thrive in the more indie fare, at least as of late. His understated performances in Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young and Greenberg are diamonds on his endless resume, assured turns that speak best to his anxious personality without ever turning too hyperbolic.
So, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can conjure the same magic for Brad’s Status. Mike White’s follow-up to last year’s slightly undervalued The D Train has Stiller playing the titular father, whose happy life pales in comparison to his old college buddies. Brad’s own envy — hopefully not of this sort — turns ugly when he’s forced to confront his pals while taking his son on an insufferable East Coast tour of colleges.
Yeah, that’s Stiller’s wheelhouse, alright, but it’s just a matter of which direction White plans to go. This is a premise that could go for the jugular with low-brow comedy or coddle the mind with more cerebral humor. White’s filmography is all over the place tonally, so there’s no telling where he plans on taking it. Here’s hoping it’s of the latter, but no worries: Stiller recently wrapped up work on Baumbach’s Yeh Din Ka Kissa.
Quite a turnaround after this past February’s Zoolander sequel.