Besides their talent and youth, what do the three lead actors in “Good Boys” have in common? The trio, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon and Jacob Tremblay cannot see the movie they star in. None of them can break the age barrier to watch an R-rated film. Somehow, they can act in it, which seems kind of odd, doesn’t it?
Seth Rogen produced the film along with his friend Jonah Hill. They of course played in “Super Bad” which Rogen also helped to write. We might think of this as a sub-teen version of “Super Bad,” the same style of raunchy humor, but with younger kids.
But will we laugh? Sure. Some of the bits do well, but too many of them involve sex toys that the boys do not understand. The best parts of the film have the three friends, the bean bag boys, just acting like three friends at the age of 12. Some of those moments have great warmth and charm.
Also young, but the best part of a decade older than the stars, we see and like actresses Molly Gordon and Midori Francis. They both play much younger than their age. These two have the strongest performances in “Good Boys” even if in supporting roles.
Director Gene Stupntsky has plenty of recent experience in funny TV shows. He co-wrote the script with his pal and ofttime collaborator Lee Eisenberg. The pair have worked hand in glove on other projects.
“Good Boys” runs a short one hour and 29 minutes. With the R rating for offensive language, this one will not be for young people. It seems to me that Rogen wanted to bookend “Super Bad” with another immortal, if nasty film, but one about younger kids. I don’t think he quite got there with this two saw blade film.
We have difficulty with films that have a target audience, those who might best enjoy the movie, who are just too young to get in to see it. It seems pointless to have jokes aimed at middle school kids if they cannot go to see the film.
On the other hand, it cost $20 million to make and has brought in a solid $55 million. Enough people like it to make it a success.