I wanted to write something to tell my father I love him and think he is a
success, even though he feels like he never lived up to his expectations for
himself. I also saw with him that the relationship one has with the world
(status) can be as important (or more) as the relationship one has to family,
partners, friends. I see that in myself in that - like Brad - I'm always having
this running commentary in my head, comparing myself to others and the success I
perceive they have - and I'm always either building myself up or tearing myself
I thought movies rarely tackle this aspect of our lives in a relatable way. How
our thoughts about ourselves cannibalize most of our time. And how much we feel
is on the line all the time.
I also wanted to write about comparative anxiety in the culture at large. How we
aren't only keeping up with the Joneses, but are keeping up with the Kardashians;
through TV and social media we are seeing the lifestyles of millionaires and
billionaires and how it creates this sense of lack and envy. Everyone seems to
be winning the lottery around us. And how in our consumer capitalist culture
this desire to live these extreme lifestyles can be both personally painful and
Lastly, after writing Year of the Dog, Enlightened and Beatriz at Dinner with
female protagonists I wanted to write a movie about men and their discontents,
to do the midlife male crisis movie honestly - with some satirical teeth - but
- Mike White
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