Good Boys review: crass coming-of-age comedy

Produced by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (Superbad), but written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (the considerably less skilful Bad Teacher, Year One), this crass coming-of-age comedy mines its laughs from the transition between childhood and teenagedom. Its trio of sweary 12-year-olds might be gearing up to attend their first “kissing party”, but they also have 8.30pm bedtimes and refer to themselves as the “Bean Bag Boys”. “We’re not kids, we’re tweens!” squeaks future heartbreaker Max (Room’s Jacob Tremblay).

When Max gets caught using his dad’s drone to perv on his teenage neighbours (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis, brilliant as stoner villains), the Bean Bag Boys must band together to retrieve or replace the toy, an increasingly difficult task given the gang’s resident goody-two-shoes Lucas (the adorably earnest Keith L Williams).

The film opens with the Chakachas’ 1971 single Jungle Fever, a disco track that featured prominently in Paul Thomas Anderson’s porn industry odyssey Boogie Nights. I suppose the incongruity is meant to be amusing, as are the set pieces that expose the moppets’ naivety. “It’s pronounced cüm,” insists theatre geek Thor (Brady Noon). Anal beads are mistaken for nunchucks. A single sip of beer has Max “already feeling something”. It’s not unfunny, but one joke can’t sustain the entire movie.

Good Boys is in UK cinemas on 16 August and in US cinemas now

Watch a trailer for Good Boys.


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