Audiences love rambunctious kids. Perhaps it’s the waxing nostalgia of youth. With the 23rd season of South Park upon us — and Superbad released more than a decade ago — we were bound to find out what tweens were up these days. And while it doesn’t take the super realistic approach of Eighth Grade, co-writer/director Gene Stupnitsky — along with writing partner in crime Lee Eisenberg — still manage to hit quite a few nails on the head. With Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill are on board as producers, it should clue you in that the characters in Good Boys can only try to live up to the title. But it also should prepare you for the level of raunch and heart only they can serve.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon), are the “bean bag boys.” Because they have bean bags, duh! The epitome of BFFs, the trio are soon up to their necks in misadventures. All they want to do is learn how to kiss a girl — after being invited to a party by the school’s most popular kid, Soren (Izaac Wang) — with Max having his eye on his schoolgirl crush Brixlee (Millie Davis). But soon enough, Max’s dad’s (Will Forte) drone is captured by Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis) when they get caught spying on them. Now, the boys are holding Hannah’s bag hostage, but quickly learn there’s MDMA in it and the girls want to make a swap. Meanwhile our intrepid trio just want to get the drone home before Max’s dad gets back from his business trip. And make it to the party on time!
Stupnitsky and Eisenberg may be best known for their work on The Office, but they’ve more than made up for the amusing — but lackluster — Bad Teacher. The cast displays all the awkward idiosyncrasies that come with being tweens — they repeatedly tell everyone they’re not kids. And as hilarious as the youngsters may be, even the adults get plenty of chances to steal the spotlight. From Stephen Merchant as an is-he-or-isn’t-he pedophile, to Sam Richardson’s exhausted Officer Sacks.
But the real spotlight thieves are Lil Rey Howery and Retta as Lucas’ divorcing parents. An entire spin-off movie is more than welcome! Your capacity for debauchery will let you decide if Good Boys is for you, or not. It’s Superbad turned up to 11, but thankfully has way more heart than you’d expect, and never dives into American Pie territory. Max just wants to kiss a girl, and something as sweet and innocent as that may be wrapped up in hilarious filth, the message still comes through just fine.