Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).
Despite what comes out of their mouth—and, occasionally, what goes in it—the trio of sixth-graders in director and co-writer Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys (produced under Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures banner) actually are good boys. Their wide-eyed (and often horribly misguided) innocence provides the heartbeat of a wildly fun and entertaining film. And even though the repeated button-pushing of everything raunchy and obscene in the world does start to wear after a while (particularly once the shock value starts wearing off), there is no denying the smart, clever way the flick presents the most low-brow humor you can possibly imagine. Oh, the irony.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) call themselves the Beanbag Boys, because, you know, they sit in beanbag chairs. They may not be the most popular kids in school, but then Max gets invited to a “kissing party” at a cool kid’s house and finally sees a way to get with his crush Brixlee (Millie Davis). Not having the first idea of how to kiss a girl, though, Max begins at the logical jumping-off point… by Googling “porn”.
That doesn’t go well.
Determined to master the fine art of smooching, though, he and his friends refuse to give up the quest, which over the course of a day comes to involve drones, sex toys, Ecstasy, frat boys, paintball guns, two high school girls, and stolen beer. And somehow it all collides in what may be—against not only the odds but all tenets for common decency and logical thought—one of the more endearing flicks to hit screens this summer.
The script by Stupnitsky and co-writer Lee Eisenberg gets genuine laughs from the kids’ hilarious misunderstandings about everything from tampons to masturbation as well as the “sick burns” they lob at the school’s bullies (“@$!* you! Everyone knows your mom plagiarized her cookbook!” is easily one of the best lines ever). Hand-in-hand with the ribald comedy, though, is a satisfying helping of genuine heart... and dammit if these kids are the most charming things since Cinderella’s beau.
Even when things begin to go a little sideways, and the comedy starts to buckle under its own weight as Good Boys approaches the finish line, it’s never enough to become a fatal flaw. This is easily one of those Animal House/American Pie/Superbad classic-comedy flicks that will never die, never stop making people laugh, and always require your precious time whenever it pops up on cable—which may, in fact, be the highest praise you can give a very adult comedy, produced by the most successful man-children in the business, and starring a group of first-rate kids.