MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
It would be going after low hanging fruit to tell you to avoid Good Boys because of its crude language and sex-related humor. (The producers and marketing team for the movie have already done that.) However, to focus exclusively on the offenses of this film would overlook the current culture that prepared the way. We are living in a crude, dirty, and hurting time. Prime time shows are chock-full of offensive subject matter. The omnipresent TV-MA rating allows rough talk and crude storylines to enter the family living room. Politicians (of both major parties) swear openly at rallies and claim the high ground. Recreational marijuana, vape pens, and fruit-flavored malt beverages court the youth marketplace. Victoria’ s Secret and Adam and Eve are nationwide brands that knowingly advertise sex-related products on television. The internet creates an open marketplace for pornography, racism and intolerance.
This is the world that Max (Tremblay), Lucas (Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) live in. These three guys have been friends since childhood and call themselves The Beanbag Boys. They’re all 6th graders preparing for the big move into middle-school, and they observe older kids swearing, drinking, doing drugs and acting tough. None of them misbehave in front of their parents but (around each other) feel free to let the F-bombs fly.
Max is the romantic in the bunch, with a crush on Bixlee (Millie Davis) and an invitation to a kids’ party where there will be kissing. He swears in order to act grown-up. Thor has to conceal his interest in musical theater (and other nerdy things) and he is the one who gets bullied the most. He swears in self-defense. Lucas would prefer not to swear at all, but goes along because of peer pressure. He has been raised in a Christian home and is unable to be untruthful or deceitful, but that doesn’t keep his parents from separating and planning a divorce. These kids need each other, now more than ever.Good Boys derives most of its humor from the juxtaposition of childhood innocence with crude topics. There is no sexual activity involving these boys, but they live in a sex-adjacent world (including what their parents hide in their bedrooms). If there is anything that is going to save them, it is the dependability of their friendship to navigate the challenging times together. There is hope throughout this movie; no matter how full of poop the script gets at times, under it all there is a pony.
Halo and Pitchfork Rating:
Three halos: A sweet story about childhood friendship is somehow a part of this film that is inappropriate for kids to see.
Four pitchforks: Pervasive swearing; crude sex-related topics, include sex toys and talk about masturbation; drug references and offscreen drug use.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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