#REVIEW: “GOOD BOYS”
Review by Mr. Will Wong
Who doesn’t love a good boy gone bad? Gene Stupnitsky‘s GOOD BOYS premiered at SXSW to warm reception earlier this earlier this year. Audiences can now enjoy the antics of three pre-teens Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Jacob Tremblay) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams), known as the inseparable Bean Bag Boys. Labelled as “randoms” by the cool kids, they see an opportunity to get elevated when Max gets invited to a Kissing Party which his crush Brixlee (Millie Davis) also will attend. To learn how to kiss, the boys spy on his neighbour Hannah (Molly Gordon) with his father’s (played by Will Forte) drone, only for her to discover it and hold it captive. The boys who know how to play that game too, might have something which Molly and her friend Lily (Midori Francis) need too as collateral.
Determined to get the drone back or a replacement in the very least, the boys are taken on a wild, at times dangerous adventure which examines what it means for these boys to be true to themelves and find what it is they really want in life. Will Max get the drone back before his dad discovers it’s gone in order to avoid being grounded, so he can attend the Kissing Party? Will Thor overcome peer disapproval to become the great performer he’s destined to be in the school production of Rock of Ages? Will Lucas make it out okay in the face of some devastating news in his family? Or will this journey tear the Bean Bag Boys apart?
Gene Stupnitsky crafts a fun ride with today’s sensibilities of today (for example, consent to kissing is spelled-out very clearly), but still asks the same coming-of-age questions that have plagued generation upon generation. We love that Max, Thor and Lucas at the end of the day, are just boys going through very real struggles and similar peer pressures we all grew-up with. They aren’t afraid to show their emotions if it means crying because they’re just boys, which helps us relate to them on a deeper level.
Fun turns are delivered by Gordon and Francis who are quasi-but-not-villains, upping the adrenaline in the they-versus-us. But the three leads are true stars of the show. They navigate several situations they are placed in which are beyond their comprehension and capture the naïveté they should possess and also master the dichotomy of sexual curiosity and disdain which boys their age also experience. Stupnitsky strikes a fine balance of funny, crude and sweet which makes the Film jive tonally.
Universal Pictures Canada release GOOD BOYS Friday, August 16, 2019.