By John Mulderig
It’s rare that even the premise of a mainstream movie can be characterised as immoral.
Yet such is the case with the supposed comedy Good Boys (Universal).
In an era practically devoid of taboos, someone in Hollywood apparently thought it would be edgy to make an R-rated buddy movie featuring a trio of tweens.
As a result, three youthful actors, Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L Williams, are shamefully exploited as they follow a script that has them interacting with sex toys, online pornography and drugs.
The noxious tenor of the proceedings is set by the first scene, which finds Tremblay’s character, Max, interrupted by his father (Will Forte) while pleasuring himself in his bedroom.
Dad, who is about to go off on a business trip, clues in to what’s going on when Max declines to stand up and hug him goodbye. Pops is charmed by the situation and assures Max that what he’s up to is A-OK.
While the underlying implication throughout director and co-writer (with Lee Eisenberg) Gene Stupnitsky’s film is, paradoxically, that the kids are far more naive about sexuality than they would like to admit, the point can only be made at the expense of the core cast’s innocence.
The fact that neither their parents nor the Screen Actors Guild protected them from taking on such wildly age-inappropriate material is bewildering.
The film contains strong sexual content involving children, a narcotics theme, several uses of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language.
The Catholic News Service classification is O – morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.