2.5 out of 5
Good Boys hits theaters this weekend, and if you’ve seen the trailer — you already know this is an adult film, that just happens to have kids as the main characters. If you didn’t know that — DO NOT take your kids to see it. Trust me, there are things they cannot unsee and unhear in this one — even if you’re in the theater just a short time.
The film centers on three boys, who are best friends, and have formed their own gang called “The Bean Bag Boys,” because they like to hang out on bean bags. They’re all entering the sixth grade and are starting to enter into the fringe of adulthood, or so they believe they are. Jacob Tremblay (from Wonder and The Book of Henry), plays Max who is in love with a classmate named Brixlee (played by Millie Davis). All he can think about is her, and someday kissing her. His friends Lucas (Keith Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon), support him in his mission as they too look forward to growing up. Early on in the film Max is invited to a party hosted by the coolest kid in school, Soren (Izaac Wang). Soren tells Max this will be a Kissing Party, and that Brixlee will be there. And so begins the mission…
Max, Lucas and Thor want to pretend that they are just as knowledgeable as all of the other kids, and just as cool — but they aren’t — and before they attend the party, they set out to learn how to kiss a girl. This leads to them invading Thor’s parents’ copious amounts of sex toys — including a “cpr doll,” and several other things that sixth graders should never see or hear. Throughout the boys are naïve and innocent, which makes for some really funny moments on screen, along with a few that are a bit over the top in that these are kids after all.
Overall, this movie is fun. I will admit that throughout the film I was of two minds. On the one side, I laughed and enjoyed watching the boys get themselves into and out of one difficult situation after another. On the other side, I cringed as I watched and listened to kids all throughout the movie use extreme adult language and act out scenes that are pretty adult in nature (for example all of the scenes the sex toys). Listening to 11, 12 or 13-year-old kids scream out the F word over and over starts to get less and less funny as it goes on, and leads to thoughts like: “Who are the adults that were okay with letting their kids do this?” Don’t get me wrong — I know what the movie is, and I knew what it was going in — I just didn’t expect it to be as heavy in some of those areas as it was. One scene in particular sat with me for a while, as Thor is made fun of over and over again by kids for not sipping a beer. Then he is exalted to hero when he finally gives in and does so AFTER stealing a beer from a convenience store. Now I know kids aren’t supposed to see this film, but they will, and I just wonder what kind of message that sends.
Again, Good Boys isn’t a bad movie — it’s just what you’d expect from Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and the gang — I just can’t help but wonder if it would have been a much funnier and easier film to digest if it had been made a PG-13 movie instead. Little kids in adult situations are always funny, but in this case, it is just used for shock humor.
Good Boys is in theaters, and is Rated R for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout — all involving tweens.