Saturday, May 16, 2020
Catch-Up Watch: Good Boys (2019)
Format: Amazon Streaming HBO
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Look, the secret life of boys on the verge of teenhood is hard to capture. The last time I remember thinking anyone got it was parts of Boyhood and Stand By Me. It's the last time you're friends with kids who you might not have all that much in common with before you hit middle and high school and become more yourself.
Good Boys (2019) doesn't avoid that idea, but it does show the potty mouthed, sheltered dopes boys are at around age 12, with confused ideas about masculinity, an overpowering need to demonstrate their worldiness and maturity, and one foot firmly on the side of kid-hood and one foot on the side of becoming a teen. In short, you're a @#$%ing mess.
I don't want to overthink what is a "well, this worked very well at least the first time, but maybe not so well on the second once the shock and surprise value is lowered" comedy, but this movie was, indeed, funny. And I can just imagine all the explaining parents and those on set had to do with the kids (if they did any at all) about half the things in the movie.
Anyway, writing about what is and is not funny and everyone's sense of humor is all over the place, but some of this felt very familiar, indeed, from a certain age (about 5th grade). A quick glance at Metacritic is pretty much a roadmap of how this movie just isn't going to land with everyone. Some seem to think it's just being outrageous and that's bad. Others seem to have a, shall we say, interestingly sociopathic idea of what *would* have been funny. I will say, regarding one flavor of complaint I read - it doesn't hurt to know that one of the laws of comedy is stupid repetition. Or, in fact, if you repeat something, it just gets funnier. Sort of the way that if you keep doing something, it just increases the comedy value.
But, that's the thing with comedies. I looked at Amazon to see what was on there, and, man, are there a lot of 90 minute movies out there that just look painful to watch. And a lot of it is - I have no idea what world the filmmakers are living in where they thought "yes, let's make this movie and, from coast to coast, a lot of people will find this hilarious". Like, sometimes you're just funny to your friends.
Anyhoo... this is a very Rated-R movie, so do not watch with the kids.