Good Boys follows three wholesome American tweens on a drug-fuelled mission to become popular in their first week of middle-school. The latest production of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the minds behind Superbad, had many concerned from the trailer that this would just be a replica of said movie. However, audiences can be pleasantly surprised by the twists it serves up and the uncontrolled debauchery viewers around the world have come to expect -yet seamlessly integrates this with cherubic innocence and naivety.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith Williams) have been best friends for years, collectively referring to themselves as “The Beanbag Boys” – spending all of their days playing games in their beanbag den. When Max gets the gang an invite to an elusive sixth-grade kissing party and none of the trio have any idea how to actually kiss a girl, a series of misadventures begins, including a mission to replace dad’s broken drone while being chased by two teenage girls on the hunt for drugs (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis).
In this bizarre coming of age tale, Tremblay, Noon and Williams capture a charming sense of childhood purity throughout, all while swearing, chugging beer and playing on sex swings. The actors also endearingly portray the more serious themes of the film, such as consent, divorce and altering friendships. One way in which Good Boys excels is how, despite the inherent raunchiness of the film, jokes don’t feel awkwardly forced for the sake of vulgarity. The charm and humour of the film comes as an older audience recognises and relates to the earnestness in the obliviously misinformed statements the kids are making.
Gene Stupnitsky’s directing throws endless raunchy jokes with impeccable comedic timing, all the while pulling on the audience’s heartstrings with touching scenes of childhood friendship and complicated family situations. The film bares comparisons to classics such as Stand By Me just as much as it is reminiscent to Rogen’s previous works. It is the wild contrast of the boys’ innocence and the hilariously vulgar scripting of Stupnitsky and co-writer Lee Eisenberg that is sincerely charming yet disgusting, and makes for a solid hour and a half of laughter.
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