As a female, it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of a man but let’s just give it a shot for this review. Growing up as a boy is never easy, especially when you reach that “tween” stage (“not a young boy anymore but no adult man yet”). Those first sexual pleasures, the first experiments, and the rebellious feelings. While it can all be confusing sometimes, you will always have amazing friends you can count on to help you through that period and who are with you for that entire wild ride. First time director Gene Stupnitsky wants to honour those life-changing moments with his film “Good Boys”. This directional debut turns out to be a hilarious, witty and enjoyable film led by three gifted young actors.
Three boys, one friendship
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon). Three six graders who refer to themselves as the “The Beanbag Boys” talk about the usual boy stuffs such as girls, parents, parties, and videogames. While they might all have different hopes for the (near) future, a milestone is about to happen for the three of them: Their first kissing party. However, the way to their first kiss seems to be a much longer one than they would want. After losing his dad’s precious drone, Max is counting on the help of his two friends to get it back. Because otherwise there will be no kissing party for them. Will they be able to get the drone back? Well, that depends if they survive their rescue operation that’s filled with booze, girls, drugs and sexual reference.
If you’ve seen either “Superbad”, “Neighbors” or “The Sausage Party”, then it’s no coincidence that this storyline seems familiar. After all, “Good Boys” is produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the creators behind those three movies. So while “Good Boys” might be too familiar for you to check it out, you should go and watch it for different reasons
Young actors, big talent
First of all, there are the spot-on acting performances of the young and very gifted leading actors. Tremblay (“Room”, “Wonder”) is incredibly funny, amusing and humouristic as Max, the typical teenage boy: ready for his first kiss with his very rock ‘n roll looking school sweetheart Brixlee. Thor is that kid who appears to be a rough tough one but who’s a total softie on the inside. Noon (“Boardwalk Empire”) portrays beautifully both character trades. His musical performances lift this movie to a higher and more joyful level. Last but certainly not least there’s Williams (“Sadie”, “Moving On”) as Lucas. While both Max and Thor are struggling to find out who they are, Lucas is having to deal with his difficult family life. However, he doesn’t have to face it all alone because he can always count on his two best friends who can cheer him up. Lucas is always up for a laugh and so Williams is one of the main reasons why “Good Boys” has such a lot of humour in it.
In the more supporting roles, we see the fabulous Millie Davis (“Wonder”, “Odd Squad: The Movie”) as Brixlee, Midori Francis (“Ocean’s Eight”, “Gotham”) and Molly Gordon (“Booksmart”, “Life of the Party”) as neighbours Lily and Hannah.
Less is more
A movie like this doesn’t only have to rely very hard on the performances but also on the jokes. Hearing jokes more than once (and especially those typical sex toys ones) can lead to incredible predictable moments. While this might be the case in “Good Boys” more than we would have liked, the three leading actors give each their spin to the jokes which add a more refreshing element to this film. If you want the more high-quality jokes, then go and watch something else, but if you just want to relax and let the kid in you come out for a few hours, then “Good Boys” is the perfect film for you.
Because of the topics handled in “Good Boys”, the film becomes a very open, welcoming and funny movie and so the cinematography has to follow that pattern as well. Luckily director Stupnitsky can count on Jonathan Furmanski (“The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling”, “Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson”) as his cinematographer. For this film, Furmanski created an incredibly vivid, heartwarming and colourful cinematography and it gives the movie a joyful feeling. There’s (almost) no use of special effects, over the top SFX scenes or “out-of-this-world” decors what makes from this film a down-to-earth one.
The verdict is in!
“Good Boys” certainly won’t win any awards for originality but hey, if a well-known and successful storyline can always attract an audience, then why not use it again and give your spin to it. That’s exactly what Stupnitsky does with his debut feature. Taking a droll and entertaining existing idea and make it into a clever and humouristic film. One that’s performed by three stunning leading actors and an incredible supporting cast.
Verdict: (3.5 / 5)
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