Good Boys review
You know what we've haven't gotten in a while? A raunchy comedy. Raunchy comedies seemed to have token a leave of absence in the wake of very safe, sitcom like comedies. Don't get me wrong; some of them like Tag and Crazy Rich Asians can still get a lot of laughs. But what I want are the ones that are non-apologetic and are willing to show that people are capable of being bad, even when they don't want to. That doesn’t make them unlikable (that takes a bad script for that to happen), but that shows that even with those faults, the characters are only stronger when they come out triumphant.
We seem to forget that raunchy comedies used to come out all the time. Movies like Animal House, Caddyshack, Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Knocked Up, and Superbad were unafraid to show characters that not only were not afraid to have…gross features, but were also unafraid to make them more then willing to sleep with any women and call them unflattering names. We see a lot of adult stories in these situations, but it's understandable why kids are rarely given this treatment. Lets see some bad kids in the ironically titled Good Boys.
Best friends Max (played by Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (played by Keith L. Williams) and Thor (played by Brady Noon) are just starting sixth graders that are starting to notice girls and understand that the other kids see them as losers. Max gets an opportunity to attend a party where along with being able to hang out with the cool group, also has a chance to kiss his crush Brixlee. He also gets an invite for Lucas and Thor. They all agree that this is their chance to show that their just as adult as the cool kids.
Trouble arises when in an attempt to learn about kissing by spying on their neighbor Hannah. The drone they use is captured and in an attempt to get it back, they accidentally steal her ecstasy. The kids, being good natured, don't want to return her the drugs, so they try to figure a way to get it back or possibly buy a new one. Their journey causes them to skip school, run across a highway and even sneak into a frat house. As the boys try to get to their party, they start to understand they have different definitions of being "popular" and may be growing apart.
Good Boys is a movie I've always expected to happen; by taking middle school boys and putting them in a hard R rated comedy. It clearly wants to be as memorable as Goonies, The Sandlotand The Monster Squad. The problem is that not only is it only funny in parts, but the movie I expected was supposed to be a lot racier and crazy. That's not to say I wanted insane ideas that would have been too far, but I believe comedy is all about showcasing elements people don't understand about their environment. With middle school kids, that should have opened this up further.
What does work are the three kids and their relationship in general. I like how they constantly talk about girls and try to bring each other into their worlds. Childhood is about realizing that there isn’t enough room to make everyone happy and responding to that. This movie understands that any boy is going to be upset when one wants to sing while another would rather be with his crush. In fact, I wonder if this movie might have been better if it were made as a drama.
When it is a comedy…what we get is another rehash of Superbad (Booksmart also did the same thing) where the goal is getting to a party. Is this the only thing people care about? There's a side plot of one of the boys staring in a musical and that a lone could have been a raunchy comedy. One of the others is going through his parents divorce and that could also be very funny. The jokes still feel too safe and polished to represent how boys really talk. As I said, there were laughs; just not a lot of them.
I'll give this three drones out of five. There's an audience that will be satisfied with Good Boys. Who that is will be anyone's guess. It's too inappropriate for kids under 12 and I think adults will still find it too sanitized. It's ironically a lot like a lot of family comedies that have the same problem. If you saw the trailers and thought, "This looks hilarious!" you'll probably get a chuckle or two. But I expect my bad boys to be even naughtier.