Good Boys (2019)

Gotta give Good Boys this – it’s one got one hell of a hook. It’s a Superbad­-adjacent coming-of-age-slash-sex-comedy, with an important twist – its protagonists are pre-tweens. Specifically, the “Bean Bag Boys”: Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon).

There’s two main directions to take this premise. Either the kids are basically written as adult protagonists – with the humour derived from the incongruity between their age and their obscenities – or they’re written more authentically as twelve year-olds. You know, horny, dumb, naïve. The screenplay mostly hews to the latter option, playing up the kids’ naïveté as the main source of laughs.

However, I was only inconsistently entertained, due to three issues. The first is that I’m over heavily-telegraphed character arcs in comedies, and this really presses that pet peeve. The second is that, Williams aside, the young actors can’t quite convey the necessary rhythm and chemistry needed to keep the comedy machine running.

I can’t really blame the film for my third issue, though. Having been exposed to (many) Australian and American ads for Good Boys (thanks to Hulu), I was already familiar with most of the big laughs in the film, which undercut the film’s intended effect.

2.5 stars

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