Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller is beyond compare in the terrific midlife-crisis comedy 'Brad's Status'

Ben Stiller is beyond compare in the terrific midlife-crisis comedy 'Brad's Status'

The writer, director and actor Mike White has a knack for telling stories about the chasm between what people really want and who they really are. His sweet-and-sour satires are minefields of personal disappointment, bitterness and despair, littered with the wreckage of broken promises and unmet expectations. The characters who populate them, from the animal-loving loner played by Molly Shannon in “Year of the Dog” to Laura Dern’s post-rehab whistle-blower on the HBO series “Enlightened,” are typically dismissed as society’s weirdos and losers.

Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller), the middle-aged family man in White’s wonderful new comedy, “Brad’s Status,” is neither a weirdo nor a loser by...

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