I’ll be the first to admit it: hearing little ones swear is pretty funny. But the juxtaposition between naughty words and faces of cherubs will not get you far. Fortunately, the new comedy “Good Boys” has more to offer than the sight of pint-sized star Jacob Tremblay dropping F-bombs, and wrapping his hijinks around a core of genuine sweetness.
Tremblay plays Max, a third of “The Beanbag Boys”, a title he shares with his best friends Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon). The trio of tweens do it all together, and when they get an invitation to their first “kissing party,” there’s a lot to be done about the impression they hope to make there. Especially for Max, who wants nothing more than to finally catch the attention of his crush, Brixlee (Millie Davis).
In an attempt to get some advice, the boys borrow the drone from Max’s father (Will Forte) to spy on their more experienced teenage neighbor and her friend (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis). But the plan goes awry and the drone is destroyed, forcing Max, Lucas, and Thor to embark on an epic quest across town to replace him before Max’s father returns home from his business trip. Along the way, there are drug cases at the Fellowship Houses, death-defying sprints on the highway, and annoying child sisters. That’s a lot to deal with for college kids who are already navigating the hormonal world in grade 6.
“Good Boys” takes place in this nebulous period of childhood where once inseparable friends begin to develop their own distinct interests outside of the group, and youthful friendships shift to the more complicated variety that accompanies early adolescence. .
Whether consciously or not, Max and his friends feel as much anxiety about the development of their friendship as they are about their discovery of the opposite sex. The boys are just starting to grasp the idea that friendships change over time, a concept that gives director Gene Stupnitsky and his writing partner Lee Eisenberg (“Bad Teacher”) plenty of fruitful thematic ground to explore.
The script takes great advantage of the boys’ general ignorance of the mysterious, grown-up world that exists just beyond their realm of comprehension. As much as they can claim to know what they are talking about, they have a fundamental misunderstanding about sex and all that goes with it. After all, this is still a bunch of kids whose most formidable opponent is the childproof cap on a vitamin bottle.
The chemistry between the three young actors is always a pleasure to watch. All three lead roles have their moment to shine as each of the boys gets their own arcs. Thor worries his enthusiasm for joining the school musical might cost him a spot among the cool crowd, and Lucas grapples with the news that his parents (Retta and Lil RelHowery) are divorcing.
Tremblay continues to demonstrate his versatility as a performer; even for such a young actor, there is no doubt that he is going to have a career for years to come. But as good as it gets, the real star of the movie is Keith L. Williams, who makes the rule-abiding Lucas the funniest character in the movie – the kid is a master of comedic timing and delivery.
For all the dirty situations the Bean Bag Boys find themselves in, the film makes it clear that they are good kids at heart. Skillfully weaving ideas about consent and bullying among crude adventures, the script doesn’t need too much work to work into a few authentic posts. And while the humor and pace aren’t always consistent, the movie is still as funny as hell.
With plenty of fun and charming performances, “Good Boys” counteracts all of its scorching with an inherent sweetness that – beyond disgusting jokes – manages to say something important about childhood friendships and the growth needed to make them. latest.
Even when life takes us down divergent and unpredictable paths, there remains a special and unique quality in the friendships we have as children. As Richard Dreyfuss says in the closing lines of the coming-of-age classic ‘Stand By Me’: “I never had friends later like the ones I had when I was twelve. God, anyone? “