Very good boys
Very good boys

MOVIE REVIEW: Good Boys is so funny you’ll cry

The idea of year 6 boys handling sex toys and swearing like single-toothed sailors might shock you, but the raucously funny Good Boys somehow manages to maintain its innocence.

Not that innocent eyes should be anywhere near this comedy, it's a strictly adults-only affair.

How do you explain to your tween why the sight of three boys opening the door brandishing anal beads, a vibrator and a gimp mask as weapons makes you spit-take your jumbo coke?

With Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg among its producers, you know you're going to get a certain kind of comedy - rude, occasionally crass, unapologetic and with a tinge of sentimentality.

After all, these are the guys that have brought you Sausage Party, Pineapple Express and Super Bad.

The picture of innocence.
The picture of innocence.

 

And Super Bad is an antecedent of sorts in that Good Boys follows that grand tradition of teen movies in which some friends embark on an insane adventure with the end goal of going to the ultimate party.

Because they're barely tweens, it's not a rager with ample goldschlagger and writhing bodies in a pool. Here it's a "kissing party" thrown by the cool kid, Soren.

Among this age group, three swigs of beer is the record for rule-breaking and the kissing party is a bunch of nervous kids experimenting with spin-the-bottle but with an emphasis on consent.

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) are the Beanbag Boys, best friends and neighbours. They're in the first throes of puberty and have no idea what they're doing.

They think cum is pronounced as "coom" and Max's only masturbation material is a saggy boobed green troll in his fantasy video game. The boys' cluelessness over all things adult is what keeps Good Boys from being smutty, exploitative or uncomfortably inappropriate.

Porn isn't what these boys thought it was.
Porn isn't what these boys thought it was.

 

Even if they speak like they're 22, throwing around terms like "you feel me, dawg" or "f***ing lit", judiciously swearing at a level that would offend 95 per cent of Americans.

When the boys break Max's dad's (Will Forte) very expensive hands-off drone, they have to replace it before he returns from his business trip or everyone will be very grounded and there will be no kissing party.

It's not a simple mission and one that will put them in the path of their older teen girl neighbours, some Molly, frat boys and a 12-lane highway. This one day will test the limits of their friendship.

Even though their goal is small fry, Good Boys manages to create scale and stakes.

Good Boys is seriously hilarious - you'll laugh so much you'll cry, and more than once. The jokes come thick and fast and they're on point, a mix of sharp, squirm and brash vibes, but it's perfectly balanced.

The movie was written by Gene Stupnisky and Lee Eisenberg who penned many episodes of the US The Office, so that should give you an idea of the kind of humour Good Boys is, though unleashed from the censors of network TV. Stupnisky is credited as director.

Oh my! A real girl!
Oh my! A real girl!

 

There are cameos from adult comedic actors including Forte, Lil Rey Howery, Retta, Michaela Watkins, Stephen Merchant and Sam Richardson, but Good Boys' success is hinged on the performance from the kids.

In casting Tremblay (Room), Williams and Noon, the filmmakers found a winning combination in their trio of friends. All three play archetypes of sorts, but there are layers of specificity that means the characters feel fresh.

Tremblay is sweet and earnest about his crush on Brixlee (Millie Davis), his "forever", and Noon has a stunning voice. But it's Williams' Lucas who's the real breakout - his do-gooder, anti-drugs, super honest kid is so charming and effective.

Good Boys is one of the funniest movies you'll see this year, a fresh and surprising hit to make your sides hurt.

Rating: 4/5

Good Boys is in cinemas from tomorrow.

Share your movies and TV obsessions | @wenleima


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