“What if we did Superbad, but with 6th graders?” is what I can only imagine Seth Rogen saying when pitching this movie. And that’s pretty much what this movie is, Superbad but in middle school. Good Boys is a decent comedy with some genuinely funny moments and gags that meanders a little bit to find a central theme. While I enjoyed a lot these moments, Good Boys feels like a collection of funny moments the writers had in mind first that are then strung together by an overall theme that felt a little rushed and forced at times. I feel like these gags and comedy bits were what the writers had thought of first, like what kind of crazy things can we get these tweens to do, and then they thought of a story as an afterthought. And for the most part, it works. The comedy is effective and lands, I just wished the story didn’t take so much of a backseat.
These three kids are excellent. Jacob Tremblay is a star already and the kid is 13, he continues to flex his acting range and nails his comedic lines in here. Keith L. Williams stole the show for me, his delivery and timing were spot on. He delivered every line he was given. For a movie all about tweens doing very inappropriate things, it’s pretty genuine and at times sweet. The kids are played as very naive, making the humorless gross-out humor and more of a situational comedy. Most of the stuff they get themselves into, they really have no idea what it is. The three boys in this movie come across as genuinely “good boys”. They are not played as total a-holes, I quite enjoyed watching these characters and rooting for them. The three of them and their chemistry work so well.
Good Boys is a fine comedy. The jokes land and get laughs and I guess that’s all that matters. If you’re looking for heartwarming, feel-good comedy, surprisingly there is a bit of that in this movie. As forced as the theme is in Good Boys, it does have a fairly true and honest message about growing up. I don’t think that theme would have hit as well as it did if it weren’t for our leads. These three young actors really impressed me by how well they carried a film. This movie doesn’t work if we don’t care about these kids, and thankfully for Good Boys, we do.