Comedy has always evolved by pushing the boundaries of what is “acceptable” in the face of the public. As in the case of GOOD BOYS — an edgy piece that feeds off its cast’s innocence — the realm of comedy proves there are no boundaries. However, what constitutes as funny has, is, and will always be subjective. Therefore, I conclude, take a minute and think about the type of humor you’d be embarking on when you have the creative minds behind SUPERBAD, PINAPPLE EXPRESS and SAUSAGE PARTY, along with lead writers from NBC’s THE OFFICE, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (who also directed the film). Pretty crazy, right?
Just how bad can one day get? For the “Bean Bag Boys,” so bad, it may end their friendship!
After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends, Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) decide to use a drone belonging to Max’s dad (Will Forte) — which Max is forbidden to touch — to spy on a (they think) teenage couple making out next door. But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desparate to replace it before Max’s dad gets home and still make it to the party, they set off on a journey epically riddled with bad decisions involving drugs, frat-houses, cops and terrifying teenage girls Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis).
The way I saw it, GOOD BOYS is an extended, un-bleeped, live-action, quasi-South Park episode. The film is an acquired taste. The concept of kids tangled in a web of R-rated trouble has been seen before. Think about SUPERBAD, or even BOOKSMART (earlier this year). The one thing they all have in common is it all leads to cringe comedy. With GOOD BOYS, the age range has dropped to 12. While the movie presents its foul-mouthed, high-stakes scenarios in crafty ways, one can’t stop but think, “I’ve seen this before.” But it works. It’s not necessarily reinventing the wheel, but because it feels and sounds wrong is the reason why it works. It’s a guilty pleasure. Is it a bit over-the-top? Sure it is. Extremely. But, for the most part, its profane madness and leads who help carry it is what makes the movie enjoyable.
Overall, it’s a film that gets right into it, pulls no punches, educates in a sense (believe it or not), and before you know it… it’s ended! If you’ve seen the trailers, you know what to expect. I mean, the way the film was introduced a few months back with its red band trailer should have done enough of a job to let you know. Considering some of the raunchy humor loses grip from time-to-time, there’s other types of humor in the film that makes up for it. Plenty to get you laughing and holding on for what comes next . The story does jump around a good bit, but it could be written off as a way to build overreach for its jokes. GOOD BOYS isn’t for everyone — and definitely not for children! So, parents oblivious to the film, don’t let the title fool you. It’s geared for adults only! At a run of 95 minutes, it’s a joyride of chuckles courtesy of three sixth-graders alongside an overused soundtrack of DJ Shadow’s “Nobody Speak” to display their badassery!
Grade: B / Genre: Comedy / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:35
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery, Midori Francis, and Will Forte