Review: Good Boys (2019) – A Hilariously Profane Journey of Adolescent Curiosity

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Good Boys (2019) – A Hilariously Profane Journey of Adolescent Curiosity

In the vast landscape of coming-of-age , "Good Boys" (2019) manages to carve out its own distinct niche, propelled by its refreshingly candid portrayal of pre-teen misadventures and bold, unapologetic humor. Directed by Gene Stupnitsky in his and produced by comedy titans and , this film takes the audience on a wild ride through the turbulent and often ridiculous waters of adolescence.

The story follows three sixth-grade boys—Max (Jacob Tremblay), (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith L. Williams)—who call themselves "The Beanbag Boys." Their friendship is endearing and relatable, capturing the innocence and confusion that accompany the cusp of adolescence. The plot revolves around Max's desperate attempt to attend a "kissing party" hosted by a cool kid named Soren (Izaac Wang), which he hopes will lead to his first kiss with his crush, Brixlee (Millie Davis).

The catalyst for the ensuing chaos is an innocent (if a bit misguided) attempt by Max to learn how to kiss by using his father's drone to on a teenage couple. This plan goes hilariously awry when the drone is captured by the couple's neighbor, Hannah (Molly Gordon), a high schooler with a rebellious streak, prompting the boys to embark on a wild journey to retrieve it. The narrative is peppered with their misadventures, from accidentally acquiring a cache of drugs to unwittingly wreaking havoc at a frat house.

What sets "Good Boys" apart is its fearless embrace of its , which may raise a few eyebrows considering its young leads. The film crafts humor out of the stark contrast between the boys' innocent naivety and the vulgar, adult world they are navigating. This juxtaposition forms the basis of much of the film's comedy, which ranges from gross-out gags to awkward social interactions and earnest attempts to understand grown-up concepts.

Jacob Tremblay, known for his acclaimed performance in "Room" (2015), shines as Max, the group's de facto leader. His portrayal balances innocence and the burgeoning desire to be seen as mature. Brady Noon's Thor is the aspiring bad boy with a conscience, whose love for singing pits him against the pressures to conform. Keith L. Williams' Lucas is the group's moral compass, grappling with his parents' divorce and his propensity for honesty. The chemistry between the trio is authentic and electric, making their bond immensely charming and believable.

While "Good Boys" is undeniably hilarious, it also has a heart. Beneath the raunchy humor and outlandish scenarios lies a poignant message about friendship and the inevitable march of growing up. The boys' journey is not just about retrieving a drone but about confronting their fears, societal expectations, and the first inklings of romantic interests.

The brings additional layers of humor and warmth to the film. Molly Gordon and Midori Francis as Hannah and her friend Lily, respectively, provide a more mature counterpoint to the boys' antics and inadvertently serve as quasi-mentors during their escapades. Will Forte, as Max's bumbling and oblivious father, adds a touch of whimsical adult cluelessness that complements the youthful perspective.

The film's brisk pace and Stupnitsky's direction ensure that there is never a dull moment. The script, penned by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, brims with witty dialogue and scenarios that walk the line between awkward and outright hysterical. Cinematographer Jonathan Furmanski's vibrant capture the suburban setting with a sense of nostalgic familiarity, grounding the absurdity in a relatable backdrop.

"Good Boys" does not aim to reinvent the wheel but instead offers a refreshingly candid and often uproarious glimpse into the world of adolescence, unmarred by the gloss of sanitized Hollywood treatments. It acknowledges the awkwardness, the confusion, and the hilarity that come with growing up, delivering a film that is both entertaining and unexpectedly touching.

In conclusion, "Good Boys" succeeds on multiple fronts—it delivers consistent , memorable performances, and a surprisingly heartfelt narrative beneath its raunchy exterior. It stands as a testament to the chaotic charm of adolescence and the enduring power of friendship, no matter how profane the journey might be. For those willing to embrace its audacity, "Good Boys" offers a hilariously profane yet endearing cinematic experience.

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