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Review: Good Boys

Good Boys opens with a hilarious scene featuring Will Forte talking to his son about masturbation. Forte is a master at awkward sexual comedy and the scene belongs to him. If this does not sound like something you will laugh at, Good Boys may not be for you.

The son in the aforementioned scene is played by Jacob Tremblay. As Max, Tremblay is able to use his innocent, young face to get some big laughs. Max is a hormonal sixth-grader who is obsessed with Brixlee (Millie Davis), a girl at his school. He gets invited to a kissing party and will do everything not to mess this opportunity up. His two best friends Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (the scene-stealing Keith L. Williams) are not directly invited to the party but Max has convinced them to come along. All three boys are deeply uncool and deeply good at heart.

As they attempt to prepare themselves on how to kiss, they get caught up in a thin plot involving two teenage girls, a drone and some drugs. The plot is not great or very engaging but it does the job of moving things forward from laugh to laugh. Good Boys' humor largely comes from how the young boys are innocent and confused about sex and drugs. There is a genuine sweetness to these three friends that roots the humor in something beyond the shock of seeing such young boys say filthy things.

There is also some interesting tensions in the film. The "Bean Bag Boys," as the three friends refer to themselves, are at a crossroad. The world is asking them to be aware of sex, drugs and the larger world. They are not ready for all that. Good Boys is a film about today's youth. These kids live in a world of internet porn and Google searches that can reveal any number of lurid things. They want to remain good and innocent. There is also a tension around the three boys growing up and growing apart. They become aware that they may not be friends for life. These elements elevate the film.

I did not expect much from Good Boys. I really did think it would be a one note comedy centered around the gimmick of have young boys say shocking things. The humor is sweeter than that and often comes from the boys not knowing what they are talking about. Their innocence is what makes the film funny.



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