When I saw the first trailer for Good Boys I was immediately sold. Then I saw the red-band trailer and I was really sold. How could I not be? A trio of grade school boys ditch school and head out on a foul-mouthed adventure where they encounter drugs, violence and adult toys on their mission to get to a kissing party to hang out with the cool kids. Given how much this film relies on profane humor to get its laughs, it’s not going to be for everyone. It shouldn’t be for everyone. However, for someone with my sense of humor, it ended being the funniest movie I’ve seen so far this year. I laughed my ass off. You probably will, too.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) are three best friends in sixth grade who call themselves “The Bean Bag Boys”. When Max’s dad (Will Forte) goes away for business, Max is invited to go to a kissing party hosted by the coolest kid in his school, Soren (Izaac Wang). With Max’s crush Brixlee (Millie Davis) attending the party, he happily accepts the invitation and manages to get Lucas and Thor an invite too. There’s just one serious problem: none of the members of The Bean Bag Boys know how to kiss a girl. Oh, no!
Not wanting to be embarrassed for their lack of kissing knowledge, the three friends embark on a mission to learn how to kiss a girl. But problems quickly arise when the drone Max was told not to touch is taken by Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis) – two young women they were spying on in order to learn how to kiss. Things get more complicated when the boys steal drugs belonging to the girls in order to get their drone back. Hellbent on retrieving their “molly”, Hannah and Lily escalate things in their mission to retrieve their drugs which leads to a crazy adventure for the members of The Bean Bag Boys that you wouldn’t wish on any adult, let alone young kids.
If any of this sounds familiar, it should, thanks to it coming from the original “bad boys” Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill (Superbad). Also, this isn’t the type of movie you go to see great acting. With its comedic style, over-the-top situations and unrealistic dialogue it’s never going to win any awards for realistic acting. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get great performances. With superb casting and strong witty dialogue, Good Boys still manages to impress.
Jacob Tremblay absolutely crushes it as Max, the trio’s unofficial leader desperately smitten by Brixlee and constantly torn between doing the right and wrong thing. He perfectly portrays innocence, naivety and curiosity in an adorable performance of determination and loyalty. It’s his innocent look mixed with the outlandish dialogue that makes his performance so good. Mix that with his fantastic chemistry with his pint-sized co-stars and it’s the perfect recipe for comedy gold.
Keith L. Williams is my favorite in this cast for playing the honest and morally-sound friend Lucas, who is having to deal with the fact his parents are getting divorced in addition to being dragged along on a crazy adventure. His high moral stance and honesty creates the perfect clash with his two best friends and creates many funny moments. He’s got the high pitch scream absolutely perfected which adds to the hysteria these characters find themselves in. Even though the majority of this story revolves around adult gags with children at the centre of it, Williams is given some more emotional content to play with as Lucas is hurting inside with the realization that his family is breaking up and his life will never be the same.
Completing this hilarious trio is Brady Noon who plays the mischievous, but vocally talented Thor. He’s the devil on your shoulder convincing you to do what you shouldn’t. He may appear tough and cool on the outside, but he’s really deeply insecure. Noon does a fantastic job of portraying the naughty child who gets into the most trouble, but only because he isn’t channelling his talent and true calling of being a performer.
First-time feature film director and co-writer Gene Stupnitsky (episodes of The Office) has done a great job of balancing crude humor with a story about friendship and life change. This could have easily been a movie earning its laughs purely on the shock value of hearing and seeing these child characters swear and handle adult toys in ridiculous scenarios. You’ll definitely get both here, but you’ll also find a classic story about following your heart – even when it deviates from the interests of your friends.
Good Boys is a hilarious movie that relies on profane humor that won’t be for everybody, and better because of it. If you’re not offended by kids swearing like sailors, kids buying drugs or kids handling adult sex toys…this may be the movie for you! It definitely wears that R-rating proudly, but there’s a surprising amount of heart beneath the crudeness and genuinely relatable moments to help break up the gags. My only gripes are a fairly weak ending and how that hilarious trailer spoiled punchlines to some great scenes. Skip the trailer and get ready to experience one of the funniest – and best – comedies in years.