It’s not many directors or studios willing to display what twelve years olds do when adults aren’t looking, and “Good Boys” thankfully doesn’t waste the opportunity. “Good Boys” has every chance to be just a crude one note gag that involves just a bunch of foul mouthed tweens, but “Good Boys” is a fun and very funny peek I to a new generation of young adults, all of whom have different problems than we did, but also surprisingly face the same hurdles including growing up, moving on without our childhood friends, and learning to accept what we are.
Invited to his first kissing party by his class’s resident cool kid, 12-year-old Max asks his best friends Lucas and Thor for some much-needed help on how to properly kiss a girl. When they hit a dead end, Max decides to use his father’s drone to spy on the teenage girls next door. When the boys lose the drone, they skip school and hatch a plan to retrieve it before Max’s dad can figure out what happened. Meanwhile their neighbors are hot on their heels anxiously trying to retrieve something the boys have taken hostage.
“Good Boys” is so very funny and surprisingly heartfelt. And though it’s been constantly compared to “Superbad,” it definitely walks along the same tracks, but successfully sets itself apart in the way it approaches the human themes. Director Gene Stupnitsky spends a good amount of time spotlighting the individual appeal of all three boys, and centers on their growth in to eventual adolescence. “Good Boys” puts the trio of characters through the wringer, as they experience a lot of the upsides and downsides of people older than them, from relentless college girls, to vicious frat boys, right down to their parents that are doing things neither of them ever truly comprehend. There’s plenty of room for raunchy humor and gross out jokes, and “Good Boys” does a great job measuring them out so the movie isn’t completely dependent on them.
The trio of stars works beautifully off of one another and its hilarious watching them figure out how to properly kiss a girl with that they assume is their parents’ “CPR doll.” The cast all do a bang up job, especially considering the movie lives and breathes on the performances of Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, and Jacob Tremblay. Tremblay is particularly hysterical in the role of Max, who spends most of time trying to outwit the adults around him, all the while facing a new development with his first big school crush. There are also some very good appearances by Stephen Merchant, Molly Gordon, and Midori Francis who is hilarious as the second half of the film’s primary adversaries. “Good Boys” is guaranteed to be a comedy classic. It’s hilarious, it’s complex, and it touches on a rarely spotlighted point where adolescence ends and puberty begins.