Do you remember Superbad from 2007? Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg produced that and they are back with an even younger cast. Some of the stars of Good Boys weren't even born when Superbad was in theatres! Good Boys is more complex and interesting, but no less hilarious.
Much of the humor of this movie is how Max, Lucas, and Thor, three best friend tweens, don't get the jokes that they are delivering. They are as crude as anything from Seth Rogan, but the comedic effect of the lines coming from tweens is somewhat novel. That isn't to say that the entire movie is based on laughing at kids swearing or not understanding various sex toys. This movie does have a lot of heart.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas ( Kieth L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) are The Bean Bag Boys. They have been friends forever and live near each other. They have all just started sixth grade and are struggling with separation anxiety. New opportunities have opened up and their friendship based on convenience is being tested. I bet you didn't think this movie got that deep from the trailer, did you?
This is a situation that everyone can relate to. Relationships that used to be so easy and effortless take time and energy. Go look through your text messages with 'close friends' from some prior part of life. I bet some of them fall into the pattern of only having exchanges on birthdays and maybe a holiday. The Bean Bag Boys are just on the cusp of this happening for the very first time.
The crazy adventure to go a few miles to the nearest mall is a good McGuffin to explore how each boy has his unique ambitions and fears. The bulk of the movie is focused on exploring each of these three characters as a person. It is easy to find yourself rooting for all of them to go out on their own.
The gags may draw you into the theater if you enjoy Seth Rogan's style of humor. The story will keep your attention. In the twelve years since Superbad, Seth and Evan have learned how to craft a compelling story that doesn't solely rely on fart jokes and sex dolls.
The #metoo movement and plenty of anti-bullying campaigns have happened in the intervening years since Superbad's release. There are school safety officers that are utilized to great comedic effect. They are also given personalities that match their yellow safety vests. Consent is discussed in multiple situations. It is used as a joke for older audiences, but the children seem to treat it dismissively because they have heard it so many times that it is already ingrained. Hopefully tweens today have had that message ingrained into them so much that they don't need constant reminding like so many adults. This movie is more politically correct than some of Seth Rogan's previous work, but that just shows that he has grown with the times. None of the jokes suffer because of 'wokeness'.
I love comedies and I love a well-crafted fart joke. I also love character development that gets me rooting for someone. This movie ticks both of those boxes. It also made me reflect on my friendships. It even inspired me to put a plan into action to go visit some high school friends. All relationships take work is the central point of this movie and it may inspire you to reflect on some of yours.