Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg’s raucous tweenage comedy “Good Boys” dives into the sordid, silly world of sex, drugs and middle school. It’s a film about a specific time, that oh-so-short moment when the world of adults permeates a kid’s consciousness, ill-equipped to process or understand any of it, try as they might. Stupnitsky and Eisenberg have deftly mined this space for laughs, and the seasoned comedy vets (“The Office,” “Year One,” “Bad Teacher”) deliver a joke-dense and highly original coming-of-age tale that’s sweet and sour in all the best ways.
Bean Bag Boys Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) are at the age at which their vocabulary has far outpaced their growth spurts. The three longtime best friends swear up a blue streak while wildly misinterpreting the sex terminology they use, and they’re still deeply programmed by D.A.R.E. and other kid-friendly anti-drug campaigns. “Drugs ruin lives and communities,” Max parrots in a panic when they discover the purse they’ve snatched from his teenage neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon) contains party drugs. Yet Max is determined to go to his first “kissing party,” where he hopes to smooch his crush, Brixlee (Millie Davis).
Welcome to the awkward phase, where growing up is a temporal minefield navigating friendships, relationships, parents and bullies, all while enduring an onslaught of new and confounding information, social pressures and hormones. Will the Bean Bag Boys make it out alive?
That becomes increasingly questionable over the course of a day, wherein the boys have to trade Hannah her drugs for Max’s dad’s drone, which they crashed in her yard while trying to learn about kissing (naturally). Hand off the drugs, get the drone, avoid getting grounded, go to the kissing party, achieve popularity, marry your sixth-grade crush. That’s how it works, right? This odyssey through mean girls, frat houses, sex toys, tired cops and six-lane freeways proves to be the boys’ first lesson in the epic complications and moments of serendipity life always throws your way.
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