With a non-stop, laugh out loud experience, Good Boys delivers exactly as advertised. From the people who have given us such films as Superbad, Neighbors and Sausage Party, Good Boys is as crude and lewd as you’d expect. This story follows a group of 12 year old boys in transition between 5th and 6th grade and their quest to impress the cool kids and attend a “kissing party”. Innocence is the overall theme to this film and the biggest laugh out loud moments were from the character’s ignorance to adult subject matter. Good Boys is Superbad’s kid brother, and is just shy of living up to the same quality.
I felt like the main stars of the film, Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon all gave pretty good comedic performances. Their ability to play off of each other’s lines worked well together and I thought they all did a great job of portraying these roles. There is something off about the entire film though that stuck with me after I left the screening. The entire script plays off of awkward encounters and continually tries to one up itself over and over again. At first it was funny and endearing, and then eventually it became a little cringy at times. A lot of the film felt a little disingenuous because of this. They would have these crude scenes pushing the envelope as far as they could imagine and then they would try to bring serious emotional moments in right afterward and it never seemed to deliver the lows as well as the highs. This is the key reason why this film won’t be given the same praises as its predecessor Superbad. You were able to emotionally vibe with the characters in Superbad and relate to what they were going through, but the kids in Good Boys are just missing that elemental piece from their characters. I don’t want to make this whole review comparing this movie to Superbad but it’s hard not to when this movie is literally a copy and paste of the same themes, just from a younger perspective.
The ability to highlight and portray the characters’ innocence is something that I did really enjoy about this film. The characters were continually trying to be more grown up, but would be completely oblivious to how things actually work. This element helped to create some of the funniest moments in the film and I liked that they used this as the main motivator for most of the story. I didn’t feel like they tried to make the kids too adult like a lot of raunchy comedies do, they were still able to maintain the innocence that a 12 year old would have. They showed the awkwardness of the dichotomy between boys and girls at this age and the idea of having romantic feelings for one another. There are several scenes where Jacob Tremblay’s character Max, would interact with a “middle man” girl who is acting as the mediator between Max and his crush and it is unbelievably cute. Max tries to play it cool and make it seem like he’s suave and a smooth talker, and this girl is so nonchalant and trying to get information on whether or not Max likes this other girl but he never gives her the satisfaction. They’re both playing this game of cat and mouse in a very child like way and it’s adorable to witness.
This film is down right hilarious though. From the very beginning, to the last scene in the movie, I can’t remember a single point where I wasn’t chuckling or full belly laughing. The ultimate goal of this film was to make us laugh and boy was it able to do so. There were plenty of times where I had to dab my eyes dry from tears of laughter. Besides all of the criticisms I have with the story and the emotional stability of the characters I had a blast with this film. I definitely recommend checking this out during the first few weeks it’s in theaters just so you can hopefully experience it with a full room of viewers. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a really funny comedy surrounded by a lot of people. They say that laughter is contagious, and this film will bring the plague of joy to your screening experience.