Remember when you were in middle school and the entire world was so innocent to you? When weed was just some plant that grew outside your home and your parents loved to wrestle in bed? Then you found out everything you thought you knew was wrong! Good Boys is going exactly for that. To shock us with the discoveries young children make and how they grow with it. Can this be an entertaining comedy and not just a kid’s saying bad words film? Yeah, it actually can be. While not without its moments of raunchiness and crude humor, Good Boys manages to balance that with a solid coming of age story that allows this childish concept to be more mature than it had any business being.
In Good Boys, we follow Lucas, Max, and Thor who are three best friends in the sixth grade. When they get invited to a kissing party by the popular kids, they do everything they can to learn how to kiss. This, of course, leads to some sequences of laughs and hijinks that allows these beanbag boys to grow up faster than they could have ever imagined. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked like it could be the funniest film I’ve seen in a long time. While this film had me laughing consistently throughout, it never met my high expectations fully. It got damn close multiple times, just never got fully there. This is not to say I did not enjoy my experience, I actually had a great time. I just wish I enjoyed it as much as everyone else did. There are many hard laughs in this film that keep you locked in, but there is only one moment that really made me belly laugh. I wish I had more but was satisfied with what I got.
The biggest issue I had with Good Boys is the pacing of the film. Coming in at just under 90 minutes, this film really seems to fly by. The problem is they are shoving so much material into a short amount of time that it never feels like it really flows until midway through. It is as if they had so many ideas of how to make the most of this concept that they decided to put it all in there and not sacrificing anything. As a result, the editing feels rushed to start the film. Many jaw-dropping and hilarious things are coming at you so fast that it can almost be overwhelming, and you miss stuff. With comedy, everybody has different things that make them laugh and for me, I tend to laugh at very subtle things that not everyone catches. Little comments, facial expressions, and responses when done right just make me lose it and there are so many of those in here that I find the bigger gags less satisfying. Point of this being, there are all types of comedy here for everyone.
The concept of Good Boys would not be as successful had it not been for its three leads. They bring this concept to its full potential. Jacob Tremblay as Max is mostly the leader of the group. This kid has been incredible in many dramatic films but now we see he has comedy chops. He has that confident arrogance that is hilarious, and this kid will have an illustrious career. Brady Noon plays Thor who is this cocky asshole who puts on a tough guy persona but really has a softshell. He is that guy who tells everyone what they should do and then doesn’t do it and Brady plays that so well. Finally, Keith L. Williams plays Lucas and he is the scene-stealer. He is the kid that knows everything they are doing is wrong and always points it out. He also brings that grounded feeling that allows the film to fully develop. While this film is a comedy, it is also a coming of age story with these kids discovering something about their friendship through all these extraordinary circumstances. This is the key to what makes Good Boys work and the payoff it has at the end is beautiful and takes you right back to your childhood.
With everything being said, Good Boys is a wonderfully hilarious comedy that takes a second to find its footing but when it does, it flies. Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams are tremendous as our leads and their chemistry works so well that you believe they are best friends outside of this film. While it didn’t reach my full expectations, I had an exceptional time and laughed a ton and believe those who love this concept will love this film.
The Verdict: 4/5 Stars