Review: 'Good Boys’

Category:  The Arts
Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 11:37 AM

Unlike most debaucherous coming-of-age stories, “Good Boys” strays from the usual formula of sex-crazed, booze-filled young adult experiences and aims for something a little purer. The summer comedy combines the awkwardness of being a preteen with the innocence of childhood for a truly fun movie experience.

The film centers on best friends Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon), three kids who have just entered sixth grade and have their own eventual big problems. Having just been invited to their first party, the trio decide to research kissing to avoid being embarrassed in front of the popular kids. Deciding to use a drone to spy on a neighbor, this one decision soon spirals the entire plot out of control as the drone is captured by Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lilly (Midori Francis). What follows is a series of increasingly hilarious events as they try to retrieve the drone and outwit the two women.

The beauty of “Good Boys” lies in the simplicity and relatability of its plot. The characters are each presented with a unique change in the dynamic of their lives, for better or worse. Their biggest fears are being grounded, inevitably missing out on the activities their friends are doing, and their social standing among their peers in school. The entire film revolves around the friends avoiding these negative consequences as much as possible with their antics.

While other films in this genre rely on absurd situations that would likely never happen, “Good Boys” subjects the characters to the most realistic events sixth graders could plausibly experience. It is these moments where the film presents its humor: finding their parents’ sex toys and not understanding what they are, logging onto a porn site for the first time, crossing the highway, stealing from a store and more. They’re such benign happenings, but it’s done in a creative manner.

Each scenario the characters find themselves in transpires in random fashion with their solutions being, of course, simple things a 12-year-old would think of. These decisions drive each successive event up until the film’s conclusion, fueling their attitudes to their own changing reality and each other.

The least realistic part of “Good Boys” is how often the main characters use profane language. Perhaps done to give the characters a more mature feel, all this does is contradict how innocent the plot makes them out to be. Even Lilly and Hannah curse much less often than the boys. The film could probably get away with a PG-13 rating if it wasn’t for all the four-letter words the characters dropped throughout.

“Good Boys” is an amusing film from start to finish, with plenty of fresh humor within. While the base plot seems like a reused cliché, the true draw is the coming-of-age adventure these friends go through together, and separately.

Tags: movie review

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