Review – Good Boys (2019)

by Armando Vanegas

Studio comedies are in a weird place right now. For some time, there was a time where every other week, there was a comedy coming out that looked good to me. Most of the time, I seemed pretty pleased with what I got. Even the worst ones had something to giggle at, for the most part. Perhaps the fact that Judd Apatow had smash hits with The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up made a lot of studios wake up for a bit and try harder for a little while. Nowadays, I barely see many come out and most of the recent ones that do underwhelm me. It could also be more that I changed or the movies changed or most likely, both. Whatever it was, Good Boys has come around to bring some much needed laughs to the movies. While it seemed like the kind of movie that was going to follow the trend of being forgettable, I heard some good buzz that indicated that this was going to be a fun time and it delivered on that. The trailer wasn’t much of an indicator of its quality since it wanted me to think it was funny solely because it featured kids using profanity. I wondered how much that could carry a movie. As it so happens, there is more to the movie than that. While it does follow a lot of the same beats as other coming-of age comedies like Superbad or even this year’s Booksmart, it’s a movie that’s concerned with just making you laugh. If you’re looking to have a hilarious time at the movies, Good Boys will do the trick.

The movie deals with three boys (aka The Beanbag Boys), Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon), who are very close friends. The boys get invited to a kissing party and try to find a way to learn how to do it so they don’t embarrass themselves in front of their peers. A series of events leads to them using a drone, which they end up losing and have to go on an adventure to get it back. There’s not a whole lot for the movie to do in terms of the plot, but for a comedy, it’s fine. It helps to get the boys to where they need to go while making time to fit in broad, raunchy gags for the thinnest of reasons. It does work in the movie’s favor as the kids all have good comedic timing. The kids’ naivete to situations beyond their control and grade level is something the movie uses to great advantage. The boys’ collectively charming and likable personalities throughout the whole movie so it did balance out the overall risqué tone of the movie. Jacob Tremblay is endearing as Max, the main kid of the crew. He adds an additional layer of innocence to Max that adds stakes to the situation he and his friends get caught up in. Sometimes, lead characters in comedies can be boring, but he’s talented enough to have some fun with the script. He’s also not that innocent as we see throughout the movie and it’s nice that he’s not so squeaky clean as we later find out. All three boys have enough screen time between themselves to have some memorable moments individually. Brady Noon is funny as Thor, the cocky kid in the group who wants to sing in the school play. A lot of his lines were really funny as he was always putting up a front. He made himself look cooler than he was and that made him a more distinctive character. It adds some necessary friction in the friendship. He was probably the filthier of the three and the movie is all the better for it as he gets some of the best lines of the movie. Keith L. Williams is good as Lucas, the moral center of the group. The fact that he was so innocent actually added to the humor. The moments where he feels obligated to come clean about the complications they get themselves into makes for some good moments. I usually find anyone making things worse in comedies annoying, but this kid pulled it off though. The fact that he has such a close relationship with his parents was a nice detail. He was probably the most relatable one to me as this would most likely be me in these crazy situations.

I laughed a lot while watching it. As it was going, I was invested enough. A lot of the jokes seemed to work, making it a success. It plays things very broad and silly, which is nice to have in a movie sometimes. The main characters are all likable in their roles and we care enough about what will happen to them. The way the movie treats the kids like adults in both effectively comedic and emotional ways, although the former is where it resonates the most. The three boys all have good chemistry together and play off each other well. The innocence they bring to their roles adds to the charm of the movie. The fact that it’s a quick 90 minutes also helped to maintain the easygoing flow throughout the movie. It’s a very funny and charming comedy that will delight those who give it a chance.

I am giving Good Boys a 4 out of 5 Hairpieces!

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