Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The movie “Good Boys,” produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and written by Gene Stupintsky, is a raunchy, coming-of-age story that takes three sixth-grade boys on an adventure through their town. If you enjoy comedy focused on 12-year-old boys making references that they do not really understand, sex jokes and crude humor, then this is the movie for you. But if you are looking for witty, more inspired comedy, this movie will fall short. It is essentially “Superbad” with middle school kids.
It has been 12 years since the box office hit “Superbad” premiered in theaters. “Superbad” tells of two nerdy friends trying to find a way to collect enough alcohol for a high school house party before the girls they are trying to win over arrive. This movie was original, heartfelt and well-received by its audience. Though the humor is not incredibly witty or sophisticated, there is something inherently funny about hearing a 12-year-old swear or have adult jokes fly over their heads.
“Good Boys” is essentially the same story. The film follows a sixth grade hopeless romantic named Max (played by Jacob Tremblay) and his archetypal friends Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon). Max is invited to a kissing party in the basement of “it-boy” Soren’s (Izaac Wang) basement and decides to bring Lucas and Thor along. But none of the boys have been kissed before. The movie follows them as they try to learn how to kiss before the party. Their adult aspirations are tried as they are faced with different challenges, that may be traumatizing and dangerous, as they try to make it to the party. As in “Superbad,” things go off the rails and they adventure around town to correct mistakes they had made.
Rogen and Goldberg were heavily involved in both the acting and production of “Superbad.” When asked about the similarities, Goldberg said that “[‘Good Boys’] is based on their innocence and it’s a similar emotional story, but it’s a very different time in life. ‘Superbad’ is about these two guys who are ride or die forever, and this is about these kids coming into their own.”
The storyline is quite predictable. It is a coming-of-age (or loss of innocence) story as much as it is a comedy. Though the movie walks a fine line, the naivety of the boys coupled with the sometimes vulgar humor makes for a somewhat charming storyline and a tidy ending. The three boys are shockingly profane given their age but are incredibly innocent at the same time.
Although the circumstances and language of the kids in the film are not typical of normal children their age, there are parts of the story that are relatable to everyone. Whether it is getting scolded by your parents, talking to the girl that you had a crush on for weeks for the first time, or the bond that you shared with your friends in middle school, there is some aspect of the film that you can relate to.