Sunday, 8 August 2021

Netflix And Chill: Good Boys (2019)

Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon play, respectively, Max, Lucas, and Thor, three young kids who assume they are going to be friends for life. Their friendship is tested when the three of them are invited to a party. It's going to be a kissing party, which should give Max the chance to kiss Brixlee (Millie Davis). First, however, the boys need to learn how to kiss. This leads to a situation in which Max loses the drone that his father told him not to play with, and creates a pair of dangerous enemies in the shape of Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis), two young women who don't appreciate being spied on, and appreciate one of their bags being stolen even less. The boys think the bag will give them leverage as they try to negotiate a deal with the women, but they don't realise that there's a stash of drugs hidden away in there.

Written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, with the latter also making his feature directorial debut here, Good Boys is a lot more fun than you might expect it to be, mainly due to the way the comedy so often stems from the children misunderstanding very adult things, from drugs to sex toys, from porn to feminism. This is much more fun than just watching young boys misbehave. Not that these three are angels, but they’re always trying to stay in the right, even as the situation requires them to move further and further out of their comfort zones. But it is always obvious that these are, as the title states, good boys. 

The script may be fun, but it is lifted by direction that emphasises the importance of the smallest obstacle (that looks large over our diminutive leads, of course). It’s also massively helped by the casting. 

Trembled is very enjoyable as the sweet and innocent Max, watching his life grow more and more chaotic as he simply tries to ensure he can kiss the girl he has a huge crush on. Williams is the star of the show, stealing every scene he is in with a character who is overly sensitive, compared to his friends, and has a very dry delivery for most of his funniest lines. Noon plays the character trying hardest to always look cool, and he is good in that role, really getting some of the best scenes in the third act. Gordon and Francis are great fun as the women who become nemeses, and there is solid support from a number of younger actors putting pressure on the leads in different ways. There’s also a very funny cameo from Stephen Merchant.

All in all, Good Boys is a good time. It delivers a lot of moments that will make you chuckle, and also provides some bigger laughs without having to create any set-pieces that may seem too ridiculous and silly. It helps that the soundtrack is also pretty good. 

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