Good Boys Movie Review
Good Boys Movie Review Metadata
This year’s SXSW festival brought about numerous comedies in the Features category, ranging from dry and dark to downright riotous. The new film from Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Good Boys, falls far into the latter conversation. Best described as the tween version of Superbad, Good Boys places a trio of 12-year-old boys in extremely precarious situations on their way to the cool-kids party.
Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon play Max, Lucas, and Thor respectively. They’re inseparable best friends and call themselves “the Beanbag Boys”…because they once had a sleepover with bean bags. They’re innocense is slipping away among the pressures of pre-teen growing pain. Max is succumbing to the realities of sexual attraction, Thor is battling juvenile labels from bullies, and Lucas is dealing with his parent’s recent divorce revelation.
The Beanbag Boys are not as fouled-mouthed and bad-behaving as any trailer might suggest. They’re very sensitive to social and political conversations, even if they occasionally confuse the terminology. The predicament-of-the-day is they’re going to a kissing party, but none of them know how to kiss. Research on the topic results in the obvious search for porn, and the spying on girls next door. In their reconnaissance mission, Max’s father’s very-important drone is damaged. Like scenes out of The Sandlot, the boys hatch plot after failed plot to obtain a replacement, but only seem to continue digging a deeper hole.
Their misadventure concludes with the realization that their boyhood bond is beginning to show its cracks, and that’s okay. Set to the tune of “I want to know what love is,” the three months following the party, the boys have fully embraced their maturing friendship. Max deals with relationships and the heartbreak of breakups. Lucas’ innocence and accountability makes him the perfect candidate for the school anti-bully campaign. Thor’s overcome labels and embraces his musical theater passion. They did it, all on their own. Despite their new differences, the boys remain the best of friends.
Good Boys is an amalgamation of many movie influences. Superbad easily comes to mind for obvious reasons, but so do American Pie, Stand By Me and The Sandlot. The film borrows from these classic comedies, paying tribute to the crazy antics and adolescent adventures experienced along the way. But it isn’t without it’s share of flaws either. At times, it meanders when jokes don’t move the plot forward. The cast and crew really seemed to love the fraternity scene, while I found it to be one of the weaker jokes. If it weren’t for the overwhelming cuteness power of the cast, the film would be far less engaging. In its current state, I’d highly recommend seeing this one…you have my consent (SXSW attendees will get that joke).