Good Boys, Seth Rogen’s most recent installment in his collection of raunchy, R-rated comedies, is everything it promises to be, with an underlying heartfelt theme you wouldn’t expect. Similar to Ralph Breaks the Internet and Toy Story 4, which we discuss on an episode, we see friends that must allow their relationship to grow or see it end.
So what makes this movie so good? It’s not risque for no reason. We’re not hearing sex jokes and crudeness for the sake of sex jokes and crudeness. Every “inappropriate” detail serves one of two purposes.
- Character Development
Similar to Netflix’s Big Mouth (which we talk about here), the beanbag kids, Max, Lucas, and Thor have x-rated banter and clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. it’s fun and surprisingly heartwarming to see their innocence, especially when the explicit content is contrasted with their concern for a drug free community. The potentially-offensive conversations exemplify just how little they know about sex, drugs, or alcohol. It’s honestly cute to see sixth graders concerned about high schoolers taking ecstasy and later trying to muster through 4 whole sips of beer.
- Societal Commentary
The fact of the matter is, middle schoolers curse. They talk about sex (ignorantly, maybe, but they do). They dabble in kissing, alcohol, and more. To some, that might come as a surprise. To others, it’s obvious. Finally, a third group of people know kids do as much but don’t want it to be public knowledge. Those are the people that make sure movies like Bo Burnham’s movie, Eighth Grade, get R-ratings, despite the fact that everything within the movie came from genuine eighth grade experiences (which we talk about on this episode). That doesn’t mean Good Boys shouldn’t be R-rated, but it does mean that many of the bean bag boys’ experiences are coming from a real place. It’s important for people to realize just how mature middle-schoolers’ conversations are, especially parents and teachers. Accepting that reality better equips us to guide those conversations. Rather than trying to stop those conversations, we should be giving middle schoolers the tools to navigate those conversations. We should stop them from speaking with ignorance and promote genuine discussions that reveal concerns and insecurities from tweens who are starting to enter an incredibly awkward stage in their life. I truly believe Good Boys can start that conversation. So can Big Mouth. So can Eighth Grade.
I consider Seth Rogen’s newest coming of age movie a complete success. I find that his comedic taste can occasionally be unrelatable, but Good Boys really hits home. Watching kids fake through conversations they know nothing about is incredibly entertaining, and it inspires me to create a safe atmosphere where I can facilitate conversations.