Brad's Status

Poor Brad: all his college pals are wealthy now, and he’s a good-hearted nobody running an altruistic nonprofit and trying to get his 17-year-old son into college. Poor Ben Stiller: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Zoolander 2 may have ended his reign as a Hollywood A-lister. Getting these two guys together must have been murder for writer-director Mike White (Year of the Dog), who plays Brad’s envy for laughs but, inevitably, decides that the grass is always greener on the other side. Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, and Jemaine Clement turn up as Brad’s high-rolling friends, each of whom he must contact in order to win his son admission to Harvard. But the best performance, appropriately, comes from the actor you probably haven’t heard of: Austin Abrams (AMC’s The Walking Dead), who plays Brad’s son and captures with unimpeachable authority the late-teenage imperative of maintaining your cool as your parents behave foolishly.