An Excerpt From the Sequel to Mike White’s Brad’s Status

An excerpt from the screenplay to Mike White’s forthcoming sequel to Brad’s Status, under the working title Get the &%#$ Over Yourself, Brad:

FADE IN:

INT. BRAD’S DEN – NIGHT

BRAD slumps in his sofa, staring morosely at his TV as the end credits of Mike White’s movie Brad’s Status scroll past. An array of remote controls are on a coffee table.

BRAD (V/O):

I was watching Brad’s Status, the movie Mike White made about me, but all I had to eat today was Pringles so I tried to pause it go grab a snack. But I accidentally clicked the regular TV remote instead of the AppleTV remote, and my system got all fouled up. I thought about how my more successful friends never use the wrong remote. I saw a copy of Middle Aged Bro Digest at a dinner party, and it had this whole article on how rich people get beautiful young women and men in bathing suits to operate their remotes for them. And provide sex and cocaine too, I assume.

TV REMOTE:

Don’t drag me into your midlife crisis, Brad. Look, it’s not my fault if you click one of my buttons and nothing happens because I’m not even on. You’re only using the AppleTV because streaming movies online makes you feel younger and “with it”, but I remember when antennae and co-ax was all you had.

BRAD eats a Pringle.

BRAD (V/O):

I think the cable TV remote hates me. When I was younger, more virile and idealistic, I didn’t care what any of my gadgets thought about me. But then I realized that was before AppleTVs and DVRs and whatever were even invented, and I could just watch a movie without having to keep track of all this crap. But that just made me sadder as I pined for a simpler time when I played hacky sack on the quad all day, with friends that respected me. I’m such a sad pathetic failure.

APPLETV REMOTE:

Check your privilege, Mr. Patriarchy. I don’t see what we have to do with your feelings of inadequacy. You can’t even tell which way I’m facing, which let’s be honest, is a sign of your mental decline.

ROKU REMOTE:

Hi guys! Long time no see! I saw on Facebook that you’re having a fun-looking party on Brad’s coffee table. I guess you just forgot to invite me, which is OK. Or NBD, as the kids say, right AppleTV? I’m sure you’re all busy.

TV REMOTE:

Not now, Roku. And you shut the &%#$ up, AppleTV Remote. NOBODY can tell which way you’re facing. I saw your Instagram selfie, looking all clean and shiny in a sunbeam on Brad’s coffee table, when EVERYBODY knows you’re always covered in gross fingerprints and lost in the sofa cushions.

BRAD (aloud):

Well, to be honest, it’s true that I did only find the AppleTV remote because I was cringing so much during Brad’s Status that I practically sank into the sofa too.

ROKU REMOTE:

This is fun! Are you guys talking about Mike White? I was a little troubled by Year of the Dog, but I loved Enlightened, and thought Beatriz at Dinner was one of the best movies of the year until it kinda went off the rails in the last few minutes. Did you ever wonder that maybe White has a better feel for female characters than male?

APPLETV REMOTE:

Zip it, Roku! Look, how about we all go out and get so drunk we say really embarrassing stuff and give Mike White more material for his next movie?

TV REMOTE:

&%#$ off. It’s so cute that you think movies are made just for you.

FADE OUT

Fish vs. fowl in Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs. Shark

I’m not sure I took Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs. Shark as it may have been intended. A sort of New Zealand answer to Napoleon Dynamite, Eagle vs. Shark is the story of two misfit losers finding each other when no one else will have them. But I found one character as immensely sympathetic as the other deplorable, while I suspect writer/director Waititi intended them to be seen as a good match, and deserving of a happy ending together.

Lily (pretty actress Loren Horsley, dressed down in frumpy clothes) may not be looking forward to any New Zealand beauty pageants, but she’s not un-cute. But being possibly the sweetest and nicest girl on the planet does not work to her advantage; awkward and over-earnest, she’s unable to say no to anybody, even when getting fired or dumped. Her only friend is her sweetheart brother, a cartoonist and world’s worst impressionist. Her favorite answer to each of life’s many disappointments is “it doesn’t matter.”

Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley in Eagle vs. Shark
Fish or fowl?

We first meet Lily at her dead-end mall job at Meaty Bun, the sort of joint where layoffs are managed by literally pulling names from a hat (and even that is rigged). She has fallen in love with Jarrod (Jemaine Clement), a douchebag with a mullet who works at the nearby video game store. Jarrod is a true nerd: creepy and violently deranged. We learn later he is motivated by the impossible ideal of his over-achieving martyred brother (although there are family secrets to be uncovered there), and possesses an illegitimate daughter.

Jarrod and Lily have matching moles (not to be confused with the progressive rock band of the same name), and Lily is able to impress him with her natural talent at a gruesome video game. But beyond that, there is little connection beyond their shared isolation.

Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley in Eagle vs. Shark
Pitching a tent

So I found myself rooting for something at odds with what the film presents as a happy ending: for Lily to break free of the poisonous dick Jarrod. Lily does manage at one point to say no to someone for the first time; she turns down a date with an even bigger loser than Jarrod. But despite this small sign of personal growth, her unrequited love for him is so absolute that even after he tries and fails to beat up a paraplegic, she goes on a suicide watch to protect him from his brother’s fate.

To be more positive, and to explain my three-star rating despite all the negativity above: I found Lily and her brother very endearing and the film often extremely funny. Awesome stop motion animation sequences throughout illustrate the love story through two anthropomorphized damaged apples.