Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.
Felix van Groeningen
Jack Dylan Grazer
A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) runs his own non-profit organization, and lives a comfortable life with his loving wife and son, but cannot help contemplating how his old friends Craig Fisher (Michael Sheen), Billy Wearslter (Jemaine Clement), Jason Hatfield (Luke Wilson), and Nick Pascale (Mike White) are rich and accomplished. Craig works in the White House and published a best-selling book; Jason owns a hedge fund firm; Billy sold a company he founded, moved to Maui, and retired; and Nick is a Hollywood director. Brad's wife, Melanie (Jenna Fischer), tries to comfort Brad, telling him that they do not need to compare themselves with the wealthiest 1%..
"Brad's Status" is a comedy-drama from the co-writer of "The Emoji Movie". Notice that the marketing for this hasn't led with that.
But Mike White has done his penance here; this belongs up there with some of his best work like "School of Rock" and Jennifer Aniston's "The Good Girl".
The hero is Ben Stiller though, who plays the title character, whose reached a point in life where he can't help but find his life lacking when compared to others, particularly his friends.
And we've heard about movies that shine an uncomfortable light on us all; I know i've heard people say "mother!" does this, although many of us still have no idea what it's shining a light on.
But here it's actually very clear and very brilliant the way this film looks at things like achievement and idealism in America and how the striving for success and to put that bumper sticker on the car shouting it out can have an adverse affect.
Much of this film is Brad going through an inner-monologue with himself so be prepared for a lot of narration, but the fears he has are never ones you can't relate to and his hopes always something we feel the American dream should be, even when they're ridiculously selfish.
The best part about the film is that Stiller always feels like a character who has lived in the real world and who has had a natural progression from the way he thought in his youth to the way he feels now.
There are a number of profound moments here- one scene between Stiller and a young college student one of the best of the year. It's a slow moving movie but always compelling.
So I go 8 out of 10 guys. If you liked this, check out Craig James Capsule Reviews on Youtube.
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