Good Boys Movie Review
“Kids who swear are funny” is the mantra of Good Boys, an entertaining if somewhat overeager late summer comedy that lands plenty of laughs even as the filmmakers try a little too hard to earn them.
Advertised as from the guys who brought you Superbad, Neighbors, and Sausage Party but in reality from none of those guys, Good Boys marks the directorial debut of Gene Stupnitsky and the third feature film written by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, whose previous works include the regrettably awful Year One and the worse-than-you-remember-it Bad Teacher.
At a slight 89 minutes, Good Boys is a rush of foul-mouthed humor, a tween romp involving three sixth-grade boys who, all to make it to their first kissing party that night, end up getting into all kinds of trouble--including buying drugs and being chased by two older teenage girls. The movie also relies heavily on the boys being innocently confused by various sexual situations.
For a year that has been light on comedy, Good Boys hits home more often than not, supercharged by the chemistry of its three leaders played by Jacob Tremblay (Room), Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon. The three riff off each other like comedic pros, with Williams a notable standout for his squeaky delivery and overly honest demeanor.
The plot itself becomes a tad tedious at times but really exists simply to fuel the nonstop banter. Stupnitsky and Eisenberg nail the depiction of pubescent kids not quite wizened to the world--heavily exaggerated, of course, for the sake of comedy.
Still, there is an element of desperation lurking just below the surface, a tendency to go the path of least resistance even if that joke had been worn thin half an hour earlier. The relentless f-bombs and crazy happenings gloss over most of the movie’s shortcomings, but Good Boys runs dangerously close to being a one-trick pony.
Good Boys may not be a comedy classic, but it’s an easy one to enjoy. Lots of laughs, a great cast, and a perfectly simple mantra that proves true--”kids who swear are funny”--is a dangerous combo only your parents would disapprove of.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.