The dark side of the sixth grade comes to the big screen in Universal Picture’s Good Boys from director Gene Stupnitsky. Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) are lifelong friends who just have gotten the invite to a kissing party. Having no experience in the art of affection, the boys decide to do some research, and hilarity ensues.
Naturally, the boys first go to the internet, where they discover the dark side of porn. Eventually, they make the mistake of using Max’s dad’s drone to spy on a female neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon), to learn how to kiss. Through a series of crazy events, the drone is destroyed, and the boys quickly realize that they need to replace it before his dad returns home.
Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky’s script for Good Boys is full of sharp, witty lines, giving each child actor a chance to shine. I’d have to say though, of the trio, I found Keith L. Williams’s portrayal of Lucas to be the strongest. After finding out his parents are getting a divorce, Lucas becomes the most sensitive of the group. The strength of Lucas’s character is in his comedic timing and the way he delivers a line. There’s a significant comedic bit in the film involving grilled cheese sandwiches that I’m still laughing about an hour later.
Brady Noon also has his moments as Thor, the loose cannon of the group. If Good Boys were revolving around adults, this is the kind of role Zach Galifianakis would portray. Thor speaks his mind no matter who is around. Yes, his character is a bit of a cliché, but Noon’s acting elevates the role above just a foul-mouthed fat kid. Thor is comfortable in his skin, and he has a secret talent just waiting to break free.
Finally, we have well-known child actor Jacob Tremblay in the lead role of Max. Fresh off his dramatic work in Room and Wonder, Tremblay makes the transition to full-on comedy with ease. Tremblay’s character of Max is naturally popular amongst his schoolmates, yet he wants to remain loyal to Lucas and Thor. I’m sure we’ve all know a Max in our life, and Tremblay does wonders in the role.
I must commend the scriptwriters for touching on the way we drift apart from our elementary school friends once we make the transition to middle school. The emotional angle the writers take is sad, but it’s also a reality that’s part of growing up. I had a few best friends growing up in sixth grade, but I’m only in active communication with one of them as an adult. No matter how much you want to stay friends with those from childhood, sometimes it’s unavoidable that they become just another face in the school hallway.
If you’ve seen the trailer for Good Boys, then you should know what to expect when you walk into the film. Good Boys is a HARD R comedy with tons of foul language, and it’s not afraid to push the boundaries. Furthermore, if you aren’t a fan of Seth Rogen’s style of comedy, then I doubt Good Boys will do anything to make you a new fan.
However, if you are a fan of Seth Rogen’s style of comedy, then I wholeheartedly recommend Good Boys. With great one-liners and true to life chemistry from its three young leads, Good Boys is one of the best comedies of the summer.
Final Grade B+