SXSW 2019: Good Boys

Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams in Good Boys. Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures.

Good Boys is a romp of a laugh riot as the film focuses on a trio of prepubescent teenagers who are about to attend their first kissing party.

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) are best friends in sixth grade.  Somewhere along the way, the trio picked up “The Beanbag Boys” and the name stuck.  They aren’t without the typical bullying in school.  Much like other high school films, they’re the uncool kids.  None of them however are prepared for what lies ahead of them when they get invited to a kissing party.  They are completely unprepared for the party.  Given how none of them have ever kissed a girl, they decide to study other people by using a drone that belongs to Max’s dad (Will Forte).

This is when everything that can go wrong does go wrong.  Hannah (Molly Gordon) and Lilly (Midori Francis) spot the drone and the two high school teens are having none of it.  Thor does the next best thing by stealing Hannah’s purse.  Little does he know that they are in for a big surprise that only leads to laugh after laugh.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t scary moments.  I’m pretty sure my heart jumped a bit during a scene along the highway.  Anyway, by the end of the film, the trio has certainly grown up.

The print that screened during SXSW is a work-in-progress print.  I don’t know what changes are going to be made between now and August.  I’m honestly not sure how the film can be improved.  After all, Good Boys is a complete laugh riot.  The jokes go by so frequently that it’s sometimes hard to hear the dialogue because of the non-stop laughter.  If this film has a composer, I wouldn’t know because of laughing so much that my stomach hurt.  This is how you know a comedy is working–when you can’t hear the score!

There’s quite a bit of the Superbad vibe going to the film.  I’m honestly not surprised because Seth Rogen and Evan D. Goldberg are producers.  But just like the 2007 blockbuster hit, this pseudo-prequel takes us on a wild ride.  The fun never stops!

While it may be uncomfortable for parents to hear sixth graders using such language, there are some other moments of discomfort.  You’ll know the moment when you see it take place on screen.  I won’t say anything more because some laughs should just come as a surprise and not be ruined because you know it’s coming.  Even though it gets uncomfortable (for parents), it’s outright hysterical.

To put things in the most simple of terms, Good Boys is essentially Superbad but with sixth graders.  This isn’t to say that 6th graders should see this film because they most definitely should not!

DIRECTOR:  Gene Stupnitsky
SCREENWRITERS:  Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
CAST:  Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery, and Will Forte

Good Boys held its world premiere during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in the Headliners program. Universal Pictures will open the film on August 16, 2019. Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.