TL;DR – This is a film that on the surface is really crass, but they use that crassness as a cover to tell a story with real heart
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Well, this might be one of the biggest surprises that I have seen so far this year. To be honest, I was not really sure what I was going to see when I sat down at my screening of Good Boys. However, given it was being produced by Seth Rogan, and written by this guy who wrote Year One there may have been some subconscious preconceptions floating there. But what I could not expect was a film with real heart.
So to set the scene, we open in on our main trio Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) who are in the first weeks of Middle School in year six. They have been friends forever and call themselves the Beanbag Boys, but while they have been inseparable in life to this point things are rapidly changing. Max is trying to get the courage to ask out Brixlee (Millie Davis), Lucas is struggling with changing family life, and Thor is trying to escape his past reputation and be accepted by the cool kids like Soren (Izaac Wang). All of this comes to a head one day when Max is invited to a kissing party setting off a chain of events that change everything.
think what is clearly going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, and
understandably so, is the style of comedy. This is a strong MA15+ comedy where
our leads are children and that juxtaposition is a disaster waiting to happen.
For me personally, I think most of it worked because it is clear that a lot of
work has gone into making that disconnect never become too problematic. Most of
the humour comes from the innocence of the young people being put into a large
adult world, where four sips of beer are considered a line you can’t cross. It
also works because the three leads are phenomenally here for everything the
film throws at them (literarily some times). It is really rare to see young
actors that are as capable as this cast is.
While all this helps, what really seals the deal is the amount of heart in this film. Honestly, I was really surprised as to just how much heart and care were woven through the story. All of the boys are dealing with a rapidly changing world both within and around them. Are the people that you grow up really the friends that will be with you all your lives, how you respond when your family falls apart around you, the pressure to conform to those around you, and more. It is almost like the crass comedy is the shield for the real emotions underneath. Now all this being said, not every joke lands, indeed some actual cross the line of even what I would consider being acceptable so I can only imagine how that will go down with more conservative viewers, though I don’t know why they would watch it.
while not all of the film works, there are some real moments of joy. For
example, this film drops Will Forte and Retta in as some of the parents, and
every one of their lines is pure gold. There is a whole chase sequence that is
like a blend of Jurassic Park and The Terminator by way of The Goonies and it is a glorious as that
sounds. I mean there is a whole sequence with Stephen Merchant which is just hilarious.
Add to this some great action scenes and
some really good musical queues.
In the end, do we recommend Good Boys? Well yes and no. The style of humour is going to be a big and understandable barrier for people and this is likely a step too far. However, for me at least under the outer shell of sex jokes is a comedy that is tackling some big issues, sort of like a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down situation, but it was clear from my screening that some people were just there for the dildo jokes and if that is you they are there for you.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Good Boys
Directed by – Gene Stupnitsky
Written by – Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
Music by – Lyle Workman
Cinematography by – Jonathan Furmanski
Edited by – Daniel Gaby
Production/Distribution Companies – Good Universe, Point Grey Pictures & Universal Pictures
Starring – Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Izaac Wang, Millie Davis, Josh Caras, Will Forte, Mariessa Portelance, Lil Rel Howery, Retta, Michaela Watkins, Christian Darrel Scott, Macie Juiles, Chance Hurstfield, Enid-Raye Adams, Craig Haas, Sam Richardson, Benita Ha, Alexander Calvert, Matt Ellis, Lina Renna & Stephen Merchant
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: 12; New Zealand: R; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R