The innocence of youth can provide plenty of comedic fruit if mined correctly. It is this naivety that Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys, which arrives on Blu-ray today courtesy of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, tries to squeeze every ounce of juice from. Unfortunately, extracting juice from a stale fruit is a tough thing to do.
This is not to say that there is not plenty of potential on display. Based on its premise alone, Good Boys should have been a walk in the park. The film tells the tale of three twelve-year-old boys, Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon), who find their world turned upside down when they are invited to a “kissing party.” Unskilled in the ways of the opposite sex, and with Max eager to proclaim his feelings to his crush Brixlee (Odd Squad’s Millie Davis), the trio embark on a mission to learn how to kiss.
When a porn site fails to provide the answers they seek, the boys convince Max to use his dad’s (Will Forte) expensive drone to spy on Hannah (Molly Gordon) and her boyfriend Benju (Josh Caras). Of course, things go horribly wrong and Hannah and her friend Lily (Midori Francis) end up confiscating the drone. Things only get worse for the boys when they swipe Hannah and Lily’s drugs in hopes of facilitating a trade.
Determined to get the drone back before Max’s dad returns home, and make it to the party on time, the boys ditch school and embark on a journey that will put their friendship to the test.
A Stand by Me style tale of friendship, though laced with profanity, Good Boys is filled with plenty of earnest heart. However, the film never seems to settle on its intended audience. The potty-mouth humour only entertains younger viewers for so long, and adults will find the film too tame. Furthermore, the boys are too good for their own good.
It would be one thing if Max, Lucas and Thor simply did not know how to kiss or what certain sexual terminology and toys were. Unfortunately, the film frequently confuses innocence with stupidity. The boys often react in ways that no normal child their age would act. After a while it becomes increasingly hard to suspend one’s disbelief as the boys move from one outrageous predicament to the next.
While the situations they are thrown into are outlandish, the extras on the Blu-ray focus more on the boys themselves. The “Boys for Real” featurette touches on the boys’ unique personalities and the genuine friendship they formed on set. Their young age and the level of cursing in the film are the subjects of the amusing “A Fine Line” and “Ask Your Parents.” Those who enjoyed Stephen Merchant’s scene-stealing cameo, the highlight of the film, will appreciate “Guest Stars” which highlights all of the comedians who have supporting roles in the film.
While Tremblay, Williams and Noon are engaging actors with bright futures, Good Boys never lives up to its potential.
Bonus Features: Unrated Alternated Ending, Unrated Deleted and Extended Scenes, Gag Reel, Boys for Real, Welcome to Vancouver, A Fine Line, Ask Your Parents, Bad Girls, Guest Stars, Feature Commentary