There must have been an untapped market for raunchy sex comedies about 12-year-old boys that I didn’t know about because “Good Boys” has made a ton of money at the box office. It’s odd to see a film that the young stars wouldn’t be allowed to see, though I think it might be a film that parents would take their preteens to … but should they? I don’t generally think of myself as a prude. Watching the trailer, it’s easy to see that the filmmakers, writers and producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and director Gene Stupnitsky, felt it was comedy gold to show kids discussing drugs and sex. The film hit $72.5 million in box office revenue so they must’ve been right.
Yes, there were moments I laughed out loud, and the young actors Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon have a great chemistry together. The three young men, playing 12-year-olds who’ve been friends since kindergarten, are talented. There are lots of scenes of them trying to navigate the middle school social structure of “cool kids” and nerds that are touching and ring true. It’s genuinely funny to hear Max (Tremblay) know just enough about a few things to be so completely wrong in his understanding of them, like the word “nymphomaniac.”
I applaud the originality of the film and the sweet heart at the center it — the boy’s friendship. Each boy has a distinct personality, from a talent for singing, a love of gaming and a blossoming libido. Now if only the filmmakers had toned down a few of the overtly sexual references. The sequence showcasing Max’s string of crushes is cute. But is there anyone who believes that a boy would give the girl of his dreams a “necklace” of anal beads that still smells like it’s been used for the intended purpose? Or that kids savvy enough to Google porn would not know what a dildo is?
But it’s a movie and all of this is played for laughs. As with many films, it doesn’t bare thinking too hard about it. Spoiler alert: That the boys could be responsible for a car crash on the highway, suffer a dislocated shoulder, give a container of molly to a cop and breakup a frat house hazing, and the only thing they get in trouble for is accidentally smashing some knickknacks with a drone. Really? All of that I can let go, but the many instance of fake crying and wielding sex toys as weapons (or gifts), now that took me right out of the film. I’m all for being sex positive and kids know a lot more than adults give them credit for, but I’m not sure we needed a “Super Bad” with kids.
Drinks with Films rating: 2 sips of beer out of 5