Review – These Good Boys Are Superbad (“Good Boys”)

Not surprisingly, some of the guys who wrote Superbad are producing this movie, after all, the plot is nearly the same. Three foul-mouthed tweens are trying (without any luck) to impress girls by skipping school, using the internet for advice, and attending a party. Naturally, everything that CAN go wrong, does!

“Bean Bag Boys for life!” That’s the battle cry for three close-knit, potty-mouthed sixth-graders from a small Chicago suburb who grew up together. There’s Max (Jacob Tremblay) the unofficial leader, who has the hots for Brixlee (Millie Davis), a shy girl in school and wants to meet up with her at a special “kissing party” later on in the week. Also in this group is Thor (Brady Noon), an aspiring theater nerd who is desperately trying to break out his shell, and older, taller, Lucas (Keith L. Williams) who has a nasty penchant for always telling the absolute truth.

Since this kissing party is the pivotal point in their lives, they need advice on how to kiss, and what better way to seek that than spying on the ‘nymphomaniac’ teenage neighbors, Hannah & Lily (Molly Gordon & Midori Francis), using Max’s father’s expensive drone. BUT! In a series of misadventures and really, really bad decisions, things that can go wrong, do, and spectacularly for the boys! Replacing drones, purchasing drugs, selling D&D cards to a weird British man (Stephen Merchant), and a paint-ball shoot-out in a frat house are all examples of what these kids have to go through just to get to this party.

In the interim, the boys face turmoil within their inner circle as their friendship is put to the test. Max will do anything to meet Brixlee, even jeopardize his relationship with his best buddies, while Thor just wants to be liked for who he is. Meanwhile, Lucas is the only voice of reason is this crazy trio and he’s having a rough time as his parents are going through a divorce! The trio face some unbelievable (and hilarious) situations, but manage to stay true to their code.

Ya gotta hand it to Gene Stupnitsky. This is his directorial debut AND co-wrote the screenplay with Lee Eisenberg (Bad Teacher, Year One). Stupnitsky & Eisenberg wrote many TV shows like The Office and know their way around a comedic set-up, hence this movie has a seriously funny overtone with a clever premise, even though it’s like a mini-version of Superbad. After all, the producers, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, wrote Superbad so you can see the parallels instantly. There’s even a scene where the kids are in a liquor store and face a cop. True, there’s no “McLovin” fake ID, but the results are just as funny.

As far as the language, there’s something off-putting about a bunch of young children (in fact, almost all the kids in this movie) dropping F-bombs and cussing like sailors. IRL, these kids couldn’t even get to SEE this film because of the R-rating! Nevertheless, the hysterical situations these guys get into is truly LOL, and that is worth the ticket price. This movie reminds me of the old 80’s John Hughes movies like 16 Candles or Ferris Bueller in its frenetic pace and style.  

Stupnitsky, who you can’t believe is a newbie at directing, has fun with the camera, showing off his skill with flair and genuine talent. His cast excels as well; starting off with award winning Tremblay, who leads with his innocent eyes and expressive face. First-timer’s Noon and Williams are excellent as well, having a natural quality that is rare in child actors.  Molly Gordon, who just starred in a similar movie, Booksmart, is the female antagonist and relishes in that role, along with her counterpart, Midori Francis, who’s new to the silver screen. There’s no doubt, you can tell the whole cast is having a blast making this movie.

Superbad (2007)

Nobody thought this movie would amount to anything. And why would it? A film about some foul-mouthed teenagers who wanna lose their virginity before graduating high school? Pffft! Yeah, been there, seen that. But this early Judd Apatow produced and Seth Rogan co-scripted flick proved to be anything but ordinary!

Meet Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), two high school seniors who have been best friends since childhood. They’re about to graduate high school and go off to different colleges and, after gorgeous Jules (Emma Stone) invites them to a party at her house that night, a promising evening of sex is ripe for the taking. Their nerdy and dim-witted friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) reveals his plans to obtain a fake ID to get some booze, so Seth promises to buy alcohol for Jules’ party with money she gives him. Heck, what could possibly go wrong?

Oh, let’s start with Fogell’s fake Hawaiian ID, which has only one name on it, “McLovin.” Despite this idiotic choice, Fogell makes the buy at a liquor store, only to be knocked out by a robber! Two even dumber cops show up (Seth Rogan & Bill Hader) to hassle the kid, but (amazingly) let him go! In fact, they drive him to the raucous party after they bond with him! Meanwhile, constantly bickering Seth & Evan make it to party with the much anticipated liquor, and Seth is hit by the police car carrying Fogell. Wait, it gets crazier…

Once inside the party, things get weird as the guys finally get their hearts desire: Fogell beds a girl, Evan hooks up with Becca (Martha MacIssac), his long-time love, and Seth is about to score (or so he thinks) with the very hot Jules. Then those nutty policemen show up and spoil everything. For as much as this film has the dubious raunch factor and heavy use of the F-bomb, it does have Emma Stone & Mintz-Plasse’s film debut, screenwriters Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg’s first script (note the characters names are named after the writers?), and it pretty much launched Apatow’s career.

Hill and Cera anchor this movie with their solid acting, but look for Stone who captivates the screen in every scene. Mintz-Plasse (his film debut) was only 17 at the time and had to have a parent on-set at all times, and don’t blink or you’ll miss cameos by David Krumholtz, Dave Franco, Clark Duke, and Danny McBride. Greg Mottola, who only directed a handful of films (Adventureland, Paul), does a wonderful job for one of his earlier works. Starting off slow, the real fun is in the details and Seth’s unhinged tirades; Jonah Hill really knows how to deliver the insults!

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