Good Boys is available to rent, buy or stream now.
There is always a risk when you place adult-themed comedy into the hands of a ‘tween’ cast of actors. Sometimes it works, but occasionally it leads to an uncomfortable mix of kids, foul language and sexualised jokes that feel wrong on so many levels. So does Good Boys manage this risk? Or does it succumb to the uncomfortable experience of so many similar movies? The good news is Good Boys actually works by ensuring its comedy and language are rooted in the innocence and exploration that comes with being twelve. Here the film’s writers, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky pull off a rather unique and carefully considered mix of fresh and energetic gags and coming of age comedy while maintaining a level of innocence.
Good Boys wraps us in the final years of childhood wonder and the uncomfortable, exciting and challenging transition into a more adult world. Here kids are desperate to embrace new and exciting swear words while bragging about a range of experiences they are yet to have. Their young minds fluctuating between the desire to be an adult and the safety of remaining a child forever.
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Desperate to hang out with his crush, Brixlee (Millie Davis), at a risque kissing party, Max (Jacob Tremblay) enlists the help of his friends Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) to access the party. The boy’s mission is clear, discover how kissing works before the gathering by using Max’s dad’s drone to spy on the older teenagers living down the street. Then infiltrate the party so Max can kiss Millie and earn his place as a new school stud. However, when the drone plan dramatically fails, the boys find themselves in conflict with two older high school girls (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis), with their mission changing into a 24-hour sprint wrapped in danger, humour, excitement and drama.
Directed by Gene Stupnitsky (The Office) and produced by Seth Rogan (Bad Neighbours), Good Boys inhabits the same world as many teen comedies that have come before it, including Ferris Bueller, Superbad and Sixteen Candles. However, it also charts new ground by mixing the energy of the classic 80s coming of age comedy with its pre-teen actors. Here Max, Lucas and Thor are desperately searching for experiences that will transform them from mere kids into cool young teenagers as they near the big and scary landmark of turning thirteen.
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The result is a sharp comedy rooted in a group of friends balancing on the precipice of teenage life while still living in the protective bubble of childhood. Here the movie’s humour never allows its young characters to become vehicles of ridicule as it celebrates the innocence and experimentation of the transition that lies before them.
The result is a movie that hums with the humour, adventure and imagination of tween life and the adult awakenings that change our childhood friendships forever. Good Boys is rude and, at times, controversial and silly. Still, it’s also full of incredible warmth and tenderness, its ability to reflect the void between childhood and adolescence surprisingly assured, if not delicate.
Director: Gene Stupnitsky