It was only a matter of time before the gross-sweet mix of the Seth Rogen brand came for the tweens. After Superbad delivered a dead-on portrayal of nice but perpetually horny high school seniors back in 2007, the same duo has produced essentially the same film for 12-year-olds. Sure, there are some key differences, but the film is exactly what you'd expect it to be: A riotously funny quest to get to a party, with some growing up along the way.
Jacob Tremblay is the most accomplished actor of the trio, having reduced audiences to blubbering messes in Room opposite Brie Larson. He plays Max, the de facto leader of the Bean Bag Boys, alongside needy Thor (Brady Noon) and sensitive Lucas (Keith L. Williams, the film's breakout star). The cool kids have invited them to a party, where Max's crush Brixlee (Millie Davis) will be. It's a series of mishaps and misunderstandings of how the world works that keep them from getting there directly.
Almost all of the episodes are hilarious, especially as these 12-year-olds navigate the world of drug dealers, douchey frat bros and one extremely creepy card collector (Stephen Merchant). Thankfully this is not a movie where all the funny spots were in the trailers and TV spots.
The film, of course, is sweet as well. This would have been unexpected had we not been living in the Judd Apatow era for nearly 15 years. Max is the only one experiencing romantic feelings, creating a strain on the friendship. Thor is so desperate to be accepted by boys outside his group that he's willing to reject the things he enjoyed and cave to peer pressure just to be near cool kids. And Lucas's parents (Retta and Lil Rel Howery) are getting divorced. It's also notable that a lot of this was covered in the latest season of Stranger Things, which is exactly what their neighbor's dickish boyfriend calls them early in the film.
Good Boys doesn't do anything to reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't have to. It's a raunchy but thoughtful comedy that provides big laughs and enough heart that it doesn't seem disjointed. These boys are very good indeed.