It’s always interesting to see how Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg can turn an over the top raunchy premise into hidden social commentary. From Bad Neighbours being about accepting new roles in life and moving forward to Sausage Party being about questioning religious beliefs. As producers, their new movie, Good Boys, gets to tackle that magical and awkward time of being a twelve-year-old in a new MA 15+ comedy. Does the film also have a story of growing up hidden in its raunchy exterior?
Sixth graders Max (Jacob Trembley), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) call themselves the ‘Bean Bag Boys’ and are far from being the popular kids in school. However, Max and his friends are invited to their first boy-girl party, causing anxiety as his crush, Brixlee (Millie Davis), will be there and none of them knows how to kiss girls. In an effort to learn more about girls, the Bean Bag Boys use Max’s father’s drone to spy on his neighbour Hannah (Molly Gordon), to which she finds out, leading to a misadventure involving the boys’ retrieving the drone in exchange for Hannah’s stolen bag of Molly.
While the premise of children in a comedy that aims to shock is far from an original concept, especially for Rogen and Goldberg as they tackled the same idea with older characters in Superbad, but Good Boys manages to find refreshing ways to be both unapologetically hilarious and oddly sweet. Director Gene Stupnitsky and co-writer Lee Eisenberg take advantage of almost every type of joke or comedy scenario that you could do in an MA 15+ movie starring twelve-year-olds as you watch them stumble into the world beyond their card games. From swearing like sailors, trying to beat a school record of 3 sips of beer, looking up kissing on Google and trying to figure out why there’s a swing in Thor’s parents’ room.
But the most impressive aspect of the movie is the most child cast and acting and on-point comedic timing. There’s an infamous quote from W.C. Fields that says “Never work with animals or children“, but Good Boys most definitely shows that the latter can work very well. The titular Good Boys have excellent chemistry together, bringing in different elements of very confronting comedy, while also being a very believable friend. From Trembley’s earnest ignorance, Noon’s tasteless sex jokes and Williams’ deadpan honesty.
Overall, Good Boys is definitely up in the ranks as one of the funniest movies of the year, providing some fantastic child performances that go full force with a lot of hilarious, and incredibly vulgar, moments and a very surprising big heart. I can highly recommend seeing the movie, just remember to maybe leave the kids at home.