GOOD BOYS gets 8/10 It’s got the goods

Director by Gene Stupnitsky

Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon


As a trio of friends enter sixth grade, they are faced with a series of challenges. Max (Jacob Tremblay) has a crush on a girl, but is unable to talk to her, Thor (Brady Noon) is unable to reconcile his dreams of being cool with his love of musical theatre, and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) has just discovered that his parents are getting a divorce. A party by one of the popular kids may present a solution to some of these problems, but as the “Beanbag Boys” attempt to prepare for the party, everything spirals out of control, leading to them facing an increasingly greater risk of getting grounded.

There’s no doubt that Good Boys shares a little DNA with Superbad (besides having Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as producers), both in terms of the profane humour, and the quests that the protagonists are engaged in (although this time it’s impetus is “kissing” rather than sex), and the overall themes touched on, of friendships being tested by formative periods of growth. However there’s an important difference here in terms of the age of the participants, and here Good Boys uses it to their advantage, exploring the naivety of youth.

That innocence is not merely used as a foil for comedic misunderstandings (although it is certainly often placed to good use in that regard), Good Boys looks at that childhood period with nostalgic eyes. It sees that innocence as a quality to be cherished, and at time representative of the potential best of human nature, even while recognising the need to stretch boundaries at that stage in life. In many ways it’s an incredibly sweet and sentimental film, buried under a whole lot of blue humour, sex toys, drugs, and general mayhem. It’s also incredibly funny, managing the odd trick of being offensive and crude, while also casting an oddly respectful tone. Barely in their teens the Beanbag Boys are already aware about the importance of consent, putting them miles ahead of many 80s, 90s, and noughties sex comedy protagonists.

Hence Good Boys is a little smarter than it appears at first glance, with a little bit more of a good heart. It may not be appropriate content for its lead actors’ age group to watch, but, between laughing and cringing, it will make the rest of us recall fond remembrances of that time in our lives.