Good Boys

The Plot:

The Bean Bag Boys, Max (Jacob Trembley), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) find themselves in a dilemma. After being invited to a “Kissing Party,” Max loses his father’s prized drone to a couple of high school girls, as they try to learn how to kiss.

Desperate to retrieve the drone, the Bean Bag Boys undertake an enlightening adventure fraught with danger, deceit and sex toys – all of which mostly goes over the heads of these good boys.

Kent's Take:

“Good Boys” is a raunchy “coming-of-age” comedy filled with adult content, sexuality, drugs and bad language – and audiences will be laughing throughout.

Obviously, this film is not for everyone. Those with a strong moral compass will find moments in this film to be wildly inappropriate. However, this film’s rough edges are smoothed by these adolescents’ innocence and the heart at the center of this narrative.

Max is determined to attend the “Kissing Party” so he can kiss Brixlee (Millie Davis). Hell-bent on helping their friend, Lucas and Thor accompany Max on his journey all the while discovering themselves along the way.

Writer/director Gene Stupnitsky along with co-writer Lee Eisenberg manage to perfectly capture what it means to be a tween in the 21st Century. Pulled into adulthood prematurely by the internet, forced to address peer pressure, drug and alcohol use, gender respect and sexuality, our youngsters must deal with things we rarely encountered as tweens. Yet, as this hilarious escapade ensues, the Bean Bag Boys still retain their innocence – a very important element.

Although it made this critic uncomfortable hearing young actors using the F-word, this comedy is also a time capsule of our lives today. These boys are exposed to many of the pitfalls that can effect an adolescent’s life path – pornography, peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, divorce and bullying are shown as hurdles which these youths must overcome.

This beautifully written film shows adults as mostly passive participants in the lives of our kids while the teens and tweens come alive in their own world – this is the fuel that drives the film. Lucas is the trigger for much of the antics, driven by a rock-solid conscience that releases the truth like a stomped ketchup packet – always at the most inappropriate time.

As “Good Boys” concludes, the core of this amusing narrative surfaces to deftly close a ridiculous adventure with a heart-felt resolution.

Lynn's Take:

Oh, those tween years. Desperate to fit in but really wanting to stand out, “Good Boys” follows the hilarious escapades of three sixth graders who have been friends since kindergarten.

“The Bean Bag Boys” are awkward but smart, dealing with growing pains in a suburban middle-class setting. With smart writing, this Murphy’s Law script has moments of sweet bromance that tempers the comedy’s raunchiness.

If you are offended by many F-bombs, don’t go. The kids cuss up a storm. That appears to be their only “vice” though – talking tough. They say things they don’t understand, try to understand sex talk and say vulgar things to fit in with the other classmates. Oh, those raging hormones. But along the way they learn life lessons and struggle with staying BFFs.

If you recognize how tween boys genuinely act like and feel, then this film resonates, and the crude humor is what it is. As the mother of two boys, I laughed from start to finish.

The three young actors are good together, have a believable bond – Jacob Tremblay, breakout star of “Room” and “Wonder,” is Max, the girl-crazy one, wanting to kiss Brixlee at the “Kissing Party” the cool kid Soren is hosting. Keith L. Moon is Lucas, the over-sharing by-the-book rule-follower whose growth spurt is obvious, and Brady Noon is Thor, the cynical one whose vocal gifts will take him far.

Adults with small roles are also amusing – Will Forte as Max’s dad, Stephen Merchant as a customer and Lil Rel Howery and Retta as Lucas’ parents.

The stand-out subplot, the junior high version of “Rock of Ages,” is a merry spot-on parody of school musicals.

Others have compared this film to the junior high version of “Superbad” or a live action “South Park,” and it does resemble those, but the movie has its own merits, and the personalities pop here to make it stand on its own.

Produced by best friends Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, they have a knack for understanding young male friendships. Director Gene Lupitsky, who co-wrote it with writing partner Lee Eisenberg, realistically captures all the drama and angst of curious youngsters as they develop into teenagers.

There’s a great deal of truth hidden in the laughs, and the movie is a jolly fun, feel-good time – one of the year’s most pleasant surprises.