Among the many successes in the laugh parade that is Good Boys, the barrage of malapropisms may be its greatest asset.
The daylong escapades of sixth-grade friends Max (Jacob Tremblay, The Predator), Lucas (Keith L. Williams, FOX’s The Last Man on Earth), and Thor (Brady Noon, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as they skip school and prep for a kissing party are packed with verbal guffaws that the gifted young trio express with a committed innocence that only makes the jokes land harder.
Written by former The Office scribes Gene Stupnitsky (who also proves an impressive first-time feature director) and Lee Eisenberg, the winning fish-out-of-water tone extends to a lack of familiarity with other adult obstacles (e.g. sex toys), yet the tweens’ rule-following intelligence nonetheless proves handy in such table-turning situations as an encounter with an alleged non-molester (a game Stephen Merchant).
Williams’ honest-to-a-fault musings and high-pitched scream give him a comedic edge over his friends, though all three stars get their chances to shine and, as a unified front, entertainingly hold their own in scenes with adults and especially run-ins with their teen adversaries Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis).
Despite its heartfelt tip-toeing into adolescent growing pains, Good Boys is refreshingly a comedy focused solely on making people laugh, an approach that sometimes makes it a bit too silly for its own good. But funny as it may be, it still doesn’t have anything on fellow Superbad descendent Booksmart.
Grade: B. Rated R. Now playing at AMC Classic, Biltmore Grande, and Carolina Cinemark
(Photo: Universal Pictures)