The super sweet yet seriously sour antics of the Good Boys makes for one seriously gut-busting good time.
This is our Good Boys second opinion. You can check out our original review by clicking these words.
Almost every generation has its own unique comedy, from gross-out to farce, that defines their developmental years. The silent generation had a big spoonful of Duck Soup; The Baby Boomers had their first taste of drag in Some Like It Hot; Generation X captured the minds of the mistrust and angst of the government with the dark comedy Mash and it’s “Suicide is painless” feel; Millennials have Dazed & Confused to capture their dissolution of pre-defined norms and for that matter, American Pie to thank for never looking at that slice of that crumbly-apple desert the same way twice. In fact, when that Jason Biggs-driven comedy came out almost 20 years ago, the promotional push from the actors being interviewed was that teenage life is rated-R. Two decades or, practically, one generation later, producers Seth Rogen and Ethan Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express, and Sausage Party) have taken that R-rated concept and applied it to a comedy about pre-teens named Good Boys that is super sweet yet has some seriously sour antics that the Gen-Z crowd may identify with for years to come.
Invited to their first kissing party, 12-year best-friends Max (Room’s Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Boardwalk Empire’s Brady Noon), and Lucas (The Last Man On Earth’s Keith L. Williams) attempt to, by any means necessary really, research their way to the basics of how to plant a peck, smooch, canoodle, and/or snog their way to victory as they go to their first boy-girl kissing party. Unfortunately, googling their parents “CPR” mannequins or nun-chucks that are more adult than meets the eye can’t bring these kids any insight to adequately satisfy their curiosities. So Max steals his father’s (the go-to for parent cameos, Will Forte) drone to spy on two teenage girls down the street to see how they do it so Max can finally kiss the girl of his dreams and take that next step in his young life.
Good Boys was directed by Gene Stupitsky, along with writing partner Lee Eisenburg, who are known for writing some of the better The Office episodes including “The Michael Scott Paper Company”, “The Fight”, and “The Convention”. Their script here could have gone low brow (which it does a fair amount) early and often, but it can be just as heartwarming. What separates their film from other gross-out comedies is the way you get one gut-busting laugh from a “bad” moment, you get a laugh from a “good” moment as the boys go through their process of respecting women and/or holding each other accountable to do the right thing. Tremblay has the bulk of the film focusing on his character and still continues to show that the stage is not too big for him here — he has a real knack for deadpan naive delivery. The movie though is ultimately stolen by Williams, whose combination of wide-eyed innocence and eager political correctness is the main source of most of the film’s big laughs and will most likely steal your heart in the process.
Even if some of the situations can bring out the cringe-worthy comedy factor and the film may be a tad too long by 10 minutes, Good Boys may be one the few films in recent memory to push the envelope in terms of comedy since early Farrelly brothers comedies like There is Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, and Kingpin. The writing is so sharp and current here, combined with practically pitch-perfect delivery by its young cast, with a deep bench of talented adult supporting players, making this film the stand-out comedy of 2019.
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.