Friday, August 23, 2019

Movie Review: "Good Boys" (2019)

Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Year: 2019
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

A trio of sixth graders trying to attend their first "kissing party" hit a snag when one of them loses his father's drone. Together, they must go on a quest to replace it before his dad gets home from a work trip, or else they will face severe punishment and miss the party.

Movie still for the 2019 film Good Boys where Keith L. Williams, Jacob Tremblay, and Brady Noon play with a drone on a playground
"Bean bag boys for life!" (Image Source)
There is a time and a place in life when all children lose their innocence and naivete about the ways of the world. That place is called middle school. "Good Boys" is the directorial debut of Gene Stupnitsky. He also helped write the screenplay with Lee Eisenberg. The two worked together previously on the screenplays for "Year One" and "Bad Teacher," neither of which we enjoyed. This story focuses on three sixth-graders named Max (Jacob Tromblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) who refer to themselves as "the beanbag boys." When Max gets invited to a 'kissing party' by some of the cool kids at school, he hopes this will be his chance to finally kiss his crush Brixlee (Millie Davis). There's just one problem: he doesn't know how to kiss. Max, Thor, and Lucas decide to use Max's dad's (Will Forte) drone, which he isn't supposed to touch, to spy on his neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon) and her boyfriend Benji (Josh Caras). Hannah and her friend Lily (Midori Francis) capture the drone and hold it for ransom. Now, the boys must go on a crazy quest to get it back before Max's father gets home and before they get in big trouble so he can go to the party and kiss his crush free from punishment.
Keith L. Williams, Jacob Tremblay, and Sam Richardson in a movie still for Universal's 2019 coming-of-age comedy Good Boys, directed by Gene Stupnitsky
"I ride or die for my squad, too." (Image Source)
The idea of a raunchy comedy with tween protagonists may not play well for some viewers. Selling "Good Boys" as "Superbad with sixth graders" may also raise red flags since that movie is all about three high school seniors trying to get laid before heading off to college. Those who are willing to take a chance and give "Good Boys" a try will find that there is an underlying innocence to all of its humor, which makes it work wonderfully well. We all remember our childhoods, and we all know that the transition from elementary to middle school can be a confusing time. You become curious about stuff you previously had little interest in, and you more than likely spoke with more foul language than a drunken sailor on shore leave (though your parents probably don't want to admit it). Middle school is also a time when you might begin drifting apart from childhood friends as your interests start shifting in different directions. All of these problems and changes and challenges are captured in a hilarious, charming way in "Good Boys." This story works so well because, despite its over-the-top and formulaic nature, there is an underlying honesty to it. Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon give splendid performances to capture this transitional period in life perfectly. These three kids are so likable and so relatable that we gravitate towards them entirely and get fully on board for their shenanigans and their journey. At its core, there is a lot of heart here. This helps us believe what is happening on-screen, and we strangely relate to it no matter how zany it gets. All of these shining qualities would be for not if the film was flat and unfunny, but luckily, it's absolutely hilarious. We laughed more during "Good Boys" than we have during any other comedy in 2019. We're not just talking small chuckles, we're talking consistent, hardcore laughter, and the rest of the theater patrons were roaring right alongside us. It's vulgar, it's crass, it's bonkers, it's delightful, and it's entertaining as hell. We can't ask for much more than that when it comes to comedy films.
Molly Gordon opens the door for Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon in a movie still for Point GreyPictures's film Good Boys
"Do you even know what it's like to want to rub up against a tree all the time?" (Image Source)
Some moviegoers will write "Good Boys" off before ever giving it a chance. Please don't be one of those people. It is a remarkably well crafted coming-of-age story that cares about its characters just as much as it cares about wanting to make the audience laugh. If you don't mind a little bit of raunch, give this movie a try!

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
RT Rating: 78%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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1 comment:

  1. I definitely want to see this, I just haven't decided if it's a theater watch for me yet. Great review!