‘Good Boys’ delivers outrageous, bittersweet comedy that highlights impact of childhood relationships

Noah Levine

From the team that brought you “Superbad” comes a film that is super good (boys).

“Good Boys” is a coming-of-age comedy directed by Gene Stupnitsky (“The Office”) and produced by comedy powerhouses Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Lee Eisenberg and Evan Goldberg, that follows three boys as they end up entangled in a coming of age journey involving drug deals, sex toys and angry frat boys. The film stars Jacob Tremblay (“Room”), Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams.

The three main actors absolutely carry the film on their shoulders. While the delivery of lines may seem stage-like, it only adds to the authenticity and innocence of the kids. Their comedic delivery is vital to the content of the film, and it’s safe to say the trio delivers.

Most jokes revolve around the kids’ lack of knowledge of adult content. One example includes the kids failing to understand that Molly is a drug — not a person. Regardless of the subject matter the script makes time to point out concerns about consent and drug abuse. Most of these quips are usually delivered by Keith L. Williams, who serves as the moral compass for the comedy in the film.

The story itself is evidently silly on the surface. Kids get involved in drugs, girls and sex toys. But the film strikes a surprisingly effective emotional chord at the close of the film. The concept of growing up and apart from childhood friend group certainly resonates with most people. By the end of the film, it’s hard not to be a bit teary-eyed, something one wouldn’t usually expect from a film that has a scene where a sex doll flies out of a windshield.

The only downside to the plot is the difficulty in connecting with the boys, as they seem to just be comedic plot devices. This assumption is quickly washed away as the boys are given more screen time and evolving chemistry. Although it would’ve been nice to have a few more scenes addressing the underlying themes at work in the film.

The editing in the film is particularly effective. Abrupt cuts and emphasized reaction shots are part of the reason the comedy in the film works so well. Jokes are given just enough screen time to land before the focus of the audience is quickly directed to another scene or gag. Fantasy sequences are also smartly edited, with one including a girl shaking the saliva off of her retainer in slow motion.

“Good Boys” is a smartly conceived comedy that treats its edgy source material with respect. The main characters are a comedic reflection of how childhood evolves, and the importance of understanding that the friends made in elementary school may want branch out, even if it means losing the magic of growing up together.

RATING: 3.9/5