Jacob Tremblay is growing up so much faster than we could have ever anticipated when we first saw him in the Oscar-winning tearjerker Room (2015). And yet, he’s still not old enough to watch the trailer for his upcoming R-rated comedy Good Boys — legally, at least. Today, the first Good Boys trailer was released, and it’s decidedly not age-appropriate for the film’s actual cast, a fact that’s cleverly pointed out by producer Seth Rogen in the red-band trailer’s first few moments.
“You guys cannot watch the trailer for your own movie,” Rogen explains at the top of the clip, speaking to the film’s three main stars, Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams. “It’s just too messed up for kids your age. There’s drugs, there’s violence, there’s swearing," he notes. "And although we’ve decided it’s OK for you to do these things in the movie, you can’t watch yourselves do them in the trailer.” Noon responds with an emphatic “That’s f*cked up,” which Rogan agrees with. “You can say that, but you can’t watch yourself say that,” he admits. “That’s f*cked up. Welcome to Hollywood.” After that, the real debauchery begins.
The R-rated comedy follows a trio of adorably awkward 12-year-old best friends as their attempt to fix a common sixth-grade problem — not knowing how to kiss — goes disastrously wrong. After being invited to his first make-out party, Max (Tremblay) freaks out about not knowing how to kiss. To get some tips on the trade without telling anyone else about his fear, Max and his friends Thor (Noon) and Brady (Williams) decide to use Max’s dad drone to spy on what they think is a teenage couple making out in the house next door.
But because nothing is ever simple in a comedy, the drone is discovered by the girls they’re spying on, and then promptly destroyed, meaning that the boys must replace it before Max’s dad (Will Forte) comes back home. What follows in the attempts to hide their misdeeds is an unfortunate series of adventures and terrible decisions involving everything from misplaced drugs to highway pile-ups and, of course, scary teenage girls.
In other words, Good Boys seems to take a lot of cues from Superbad, another one of Rogen’s comedic classics, without feeling like a direct rip-off. Rather, it plays as if Jonah Hill and Michael Cera's characters from the hit 2007 movie just discovered porn and drones for the first time.
Movies and TV series focusing on the pre-teen experience, including Eighth Grade, PEN15, and Stranger Things, which is hilariously referenced in the trailer, are having a big moment right now — finally, middle school is being taken seriously on screen. Good Boys, which hits theaters on August 16, might be the most diabolically raunchy of them all, but it also might be one of the most accurate depictions of Gen Z, shining a light on the filthy and uncensored minds of many 12-year-old boys as they attempt to come of age, for better or worse.