Three sixth grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party.
‘Good Boys’ is an R-Rated comedy (or an 18 as we refer to it here in the UK) about 3 middle school kids on a quest to impress their classmates by attending a party. It’s produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg which will come as no surprise, as the premise is reminiscent of ‘Superbad’, only with kids a lot younger and their aims when it comes to ‘getting the girl’ downgraded accordingly. The originality comes from the age range of the central characters, and certainly not from the plotting which ticks off many of the boxes familiar with this kind of comedy. Despite this, I thought ‘Good Boys’ was a pretty enjoyable movie and a fun comedy to spend an hour and a half with.
‘Good Boys’ marketing has focused on the profanity and the raunchier aspects of the screenplay (look, kids swearing and talking about sex!), so it’s surprising to an extent that this aspect is perhaps the least successful part of the film. The film is at its best when it allows its three young leads (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon) to bounce off one another and I enjoyed the film more when it was sweet as opposed to crass. Tremblay is the best known of the three actors after a sterling performance in the Oscar winning ‘Room’, and he has an innate sweetness as Max that works really well, whilst Williams is probably the standout as the highly strung Lucas. Underneath the over the top hijinks (which are fun at times, a running gag with a sex doll works well, even if it’s obvious where it’s going), the film explores some real issues such as divorce and the insecurities about fitting in that come at this age, and I felt it handled this sensitive material with a real maturity – a real contrast to much of the broader comedy on display!
‘Good Boys’ was never going to be ‘Superbad’ and it isn’t, but it’s better than just another cheap knock off and I found myself quite liking it.
Directed By: Gene Stupnitsky
Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Izaac Wang, Millie Davis, Josh Caras, Will Forte, Lil Rel Howery, Retta, Sam Richardson and Stephen Merchant