Now streaming on HBO Good Boys is a strangely wholesome gross out sex comedy. It has hints of being a good movie, but mostly settles for an okay movie with chuckles instead of laughs.
The movie follows three 6th graders on a momentous day in their young lives. Max, Lucas, and Thor have been best friends their whole lives, but that friendship is about to be tested as they embark on a quest to prepare themselves for a kissing party taking place that night at the coolest kid in school’s house.
The boys agree that they need to learn how to kiss before going to the party. They decide to steal Max’s dad’s drone in order to spy on their teenage neighbor because “She’s a nymphomaniac. That means she has sex on land and sea.” The movie is full of amusing little puns and misunderstandings like that. “This is sensual harassment!” “We’ll tell them you’re a misogynist. – I’ve never massaged anyone!” Some feel genuine others feel forced. The drone ends up getting stolen by the girls they are trying to spy on and the kids end up taking the girls’s purse in order to trade. In the purse they find drugs and Lucas’ love for anti drug campaigns kicks in.
The boys refuse to give up the drugs because they don’t want to spread drugs in their community. A big section of the plot hinges on the boys trying to do the right thing. This is a really refreshing and interesting twist on this genre of R rated gross out humor. Lucas is a standout here. He is such a good natured and kind character who is happy with who he is and is proud of the fact that his mom is his best friend. That wholesomeness is a really engaging counterbalance to the sex gags and drug humor.
There is a lot of sexual and drug related humor on display here. Some of it is cringe inducing and just unpleasant. Some of it is quite clever, but the movie works best when the humor comes from these characters. These boys are such wonderfully drawn personalities that their arguments and discussions prove to be the funniest and most engaging parts of the movie. A massive blowout between the boys results in major tears from all of them. Watching these twelve year olds yelling at each other while tears flow is hilarious, true, and an interesting comment on masculinity and the fear showing emotions. There is also a slow motion shootout in which the boys shoot frat guys with paintball guns. This is the big climax of the movie, but the funnier and more memorable scene is the crying fight between the boys. The movie is an interesting hodge lodge of styles. It has all the prerequisite gags and chase scenes, but its heart has so much more to offer.
Unfortunately, the heart gets swallowed up and over shadowed by the big trailer moments. Trailer moments are the easy to digest big guffaw moments that they cram into the trailer, like the paintball shoot out, the sex jokes, and the lowest common denominator bits. These are fine trailer fodder, but the movie could have been better without it.
The movie also has a really touching message about growing up and growing up too fast. It is about losing those friends that we grow up with and assume will always be there for us. It is almost a really great movie about young people growing up, but it clutters the movie. It drowns its message in the easy jokes.
Overall, it’s a pretty good time. There are some laugh out loud moments and a lot of nice characters. You could do worse than watch this movie some evening. Mostly my cup of tea. – B