“We’re in sixth grade now. We need to start doing sixth-grade things.” – Max
Three 6th grade boys who ditch school, embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, and try to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party. This premise sounds like a hit or miss, and even produced by comedian Seth Rogen, Good Boys doesn’t hit all the marks. But that doesn’t spoil the fun. In fact, Good Boys is one of the better comedies 2019 has to offer.
We first meet Max (Jacob Tremblay), when he gets disturbed by his father while playing around with the design of a well formed World of Warcraft-like avatar. Clearly in early stages of puberty, Max seems a bit ahead of his two best friends Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams). While Max daydreams about a girl he has a crush on, Thor just wants to be the angelic singer he’s meant to be, but feels conflicted when trying to fit in with the popular kids in his grade. Lucas on the other hand, is dealing with some personal issues at home, which he doesn’t feel comfortable discussing with his friends just yet. When Max gets invited to a party, after impressing some of the tougher kids at school, our group of boys realises there might be some “first base”-action happening. This calls for preparation – may it be online, in person or even by spying on girls in the neighbourhood. The latter doesn’t happen as smoothly as they had hoped for and they’ll soon have to deal with a duo of Molly-poppin’ teenage girls, who’ll chase them around until they get what they’ve lost.
No new ground gets broken in this directorial debut by ‘The Office‘-writer, Gene Stupnitsky. Many teen-hormonal-comedies popped into my head while watching this – from American Pie to Sex Drive to The Girl Next Door. But where those kind of films always focused on senior students, Good Boys follows a group of tweens who think they know everything there needs to be known about growing up. Using a very impressive vocabulary in the wrong way, brought the biggest smiles to my face. It’s all in good fun.
Our main trio is pretty damn impressive. Tremblay (Room) keeps showing off his acting skills, with every project he takes on. While this could be Noon and Williams’ big breakthrough on the big screen, after mostly working on television. They’ve surely showcased their comedic skills and still being so young, who knows where we’ll see them in about ten years?!
Good Boys is harmless fun. There’s lots to laugh at for adult viewers, with plenty of sex-jokes and physical humour. Enough adorable moments balance out the huge amount of F-bombs, without ever having to fall back on cheap toilet humour. I do think its main audience will probably be found when this film hits the ancillary market. Teenage boys who are too young to be allowed into these screenings, will definitely be checking this out as soon as it hits streaming services.
Review – Good Boys
Reviewed at Event Cinemas, Sydney, Sept. 17, 2019. Running time: 90 min.
PRODUCTION: A Universal Pictures release of a Good Universe and Point Grey Pictures production. Producers: Lee Eisenberg, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver. Executive Producers: Josh Fagen, Jonah Hill, Nathan Kahane, John Powers Middleton.
CREW: Director: Gene Stupnitsky. Screenplay: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg. Camera (color, widescreen): Jonathan Furmanski. Editor: Daniel Gabbe. Music: Lyle Workman.
WITH: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Izaac Wang, Millie Davis, Josh Caras, Will Forte, Mariessa Portelance.