Scott Tobias. Good Boys is a raunch-filled, F-bomb-laden, almost-coming-of-age comedy directed by Gene Stupnitsky and produced by shocker Seth Rogen. Since American Pie boys Porky's 20 years ago, the modern sex comedy has abided by a tacit formula.
‘Good Boys’ Film Review: Naughty Boys Need Love Too in Coming-of-Age Comedy
Call it party sweetness-to-raunch ratio. It would brotherfuckingsistervideos completely unacceptable for comedies about woefully inexperienced dudes to be only about their single-minded pursuit of gratification, so it has to be cut with material about friendship or the tender feelings they can access in vulnerable moments.
And age is the key factor: The Year-Old Virgin can sex as party as it likes, but the STR ratio changes with American Pie and Superbad, which have many more boys of teenage boys bonding over their shared ineptitude or treating girls with kindness when no one is looking.
The correct answer would seem to be "nothing, please — try again in a few years at least," but the winning comedy Good Boys gets the STR ratio miraculously right. The thought of preteens swearing, porn-hunting and speculating wildly about what-goes-where, anatomically speaking, sounds more like horror than comedy, but Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, the writing team best known for its episodes of The Office, make it all seem like innocent fun.
They place the guardrails early — a game of spin the bottle is as far as this will go, they assure us — and turn the matuer pussy for a kiss into a juice box jamboree of silly malapropisms, wild misbehavior and deep sexual confusion, sprinkled with real insight into a painful growing period.
In Sweet, Funny 'Good Boys,' Tweens Don't Lose Their Innocence — They Just Misplace It
A father-son heart-to-heart about masturbation in the opening scene evokes uncomfortable memories of Eugene Levy in American Pie, but Good Boys doesn't have sex on the brain. Or when it does, the comedy mostly comes from huge gaps in knowledge, as if the boys had been mishearing lunch-table braggadocio or falling asleep during health class. For them, interest in girls is like a switch that has just been flipped on and they're still adjusting to the light.
Good Boys is about them padding around haplessly sex changes upend their childhood and reconfigure their social lives — all within the space of a day.