Good Boys comes with a tagline, “One bad decision after the other,” and it perfectly sums up the movie. The boys are in a transition stage just before hitting their teens, and life can be pretty awkward. It’s a tale of looking for answers, experiencing new experiences, and the mistakes made along the way. Mistakes that teach you the way of life.
The following movies are like Good Boys in the way that they portray personal development through trial and error by using comedy:
- The Hangover
- Stand By Me
- The Goonies
- Fun Size
- The Sandlot
- The Dangerous Lives Of Choir Boys
- The Peanut Butter Falcon
- The Little Rascals
The movies included on the list are all about self-discovery portrayed comically, with loads of bad choices, leading to fundamental answers. We are constantly trying to figure out life’s mysteries, and laughing about others’ struggles connects it to our own questions. Life is hard, but life can be funny too.
1. Superbad (2017)
Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader, Emma Stone, Joe Lo Truglio, and Martha MacIsaac
Evan and Seth are childhood friends in their senior year of High School. Seth is the ”leader” of all talk, and no action, whereas Evan is the faithful follower. They don’t form part of the “in” crowd at school and operate primarily by themselves and their third-wheel super-nerd buddy Fogull.
Evan, Seth, and Fogull’s idea of a fantastic weekend is getting drunk in the basement, trying to get into the local strip clubs (yet to gain access), and puking at the end of the night while vandalizing stuff. Rarely will you find a girl in their company, and you guessed it, all three are still virgins.
The boys start to plan another “fun” filled weekend for three as their graduation looms large. However, two weeks before graduation Jules (a popular girl) invites Seth to her house party. The excitement makes Seth promise Jules to be the “alcohol guy,” as he knows that Fogull is organizing a fake I.D.
When Fogull arrives with an I.D. that states he is a 25-year-old from Hawaii, called McLovin, things are not off to a good start. Join the three musketeers as they go all out, pretending to be popular for one night of their school career, no matter the cost. Watch them become superbad.
2. The Hangover (2009)
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Mike Tyson, and Rob Riggle
Doug is getting married to Tracy. Doug’s two best buddies Phil and Stu, accompanied by Tracy’s brother Allan, hop into Tracy’s father’s classic convertible Mercedes and head off to Vegas for a 24-hour stag party. The End.
Not by a long shot. The motley crew arrive at the Ceasar Hotel, book the best suite the hotel has to offer, and get ready for a night out on the strip. While on the roof, taking a shot or two, Phil makes a toast that goes something like this, “To the night the four of us will never forget.”
Skip to the following morning, and it’s clear that none of the three remembers anything.
Memory loss is what happens when your drink is spiked with roofies. Allan takes responsibility for the act, claiming he thought it was ecstasy. The hotel suite is trashed. Live animals roam around, and everyone has a hangover from hell.
Oh, and the groom-to-be is missing, and in his place, they find a tiny human in the closet.
The new not-so-fantastic four need to find out what happened the previous night, return the tiny human to its rightful owner, find the groom, return the zoo animal, and all this with a massive hangover. The movie answers the question, “What is the worst that can happen?” ideally.
3. Stand By Me (1986)
Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, and John Cusack
Gordie Lachance is shocked to read about the death of a valued friend in a local newspaper. The news takes Geordie on a vivid trip down his memory lane to a summer he spent in 1959 Oregon. It was that summer that a 12-year-old boy went missing, presumed dead.
After learning about a potential general location of the missing boy, he and his friends decide to go search for the boy or the body.
Gordie, Chris, Vern, and Teddy set off on a mission to find answers to the mystery of the missing boy. What they find along the railway tracks, woods, and swamps of the area is the true meaning of friendship. What makes the search more difficult is that Ace Merrill, and his gang of bullies, are on their trail as well—making it a race to find the lost boy first.
As long as they stand by each other and stand up for what is right, they will learn valuable truths about themselves and what it truly means to be a friend.
4. The Goonies (1985)
Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerry Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan, Robert Davi, and Anne Ramsey
A group of boys, known as the Goonies, will soon be evicted from their homes in Goon Docks to make way for a golf course development unless all of their parents can come up with the mortgage payments, which seems impossible. Mikey, Mouth, Data, and Chunk only have one day left to spend with each other before the demolition crews arrive. A sad day indeed.
As they goof around for what is possibly the last time, they make their way up to Mikey’s attic to rummage around for all times sake. It’s here where Mikey discovers an old treasure map that points the way to legendary pirate, One-Eyed Willy’s hidden treasure. The Goonies decide to go on a treasure hunt to save their homes and their friendship.
The only problem is that the map leads them to an abandoned restaurant, the hideout of the criminal Fratelli family. If they follow the map, they have to go into the dangerous hideout and through the basement to who knows where. As they avoid detection and make their way to the secret passage of underground caves, Chunk gets caught by Mama Fratelli.
Chunk then meets Sloth, the deformed son of Mama Fratelli, and befriends him by giving him a Baby Ruth chocolate bar. And so, the adventure begins. Everyone is on a mission to find the gold. It won’t be easy as One-Eyed Willie has booby-trapped the caves to keep his treasure from greedy hands.
5. Fun Size (2012)
Director: Josh Schwartz
Cast: Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville (uncredited), Jackson Nicoll, Chelsea Handler, Ana Gasteyer, and Thomas McDonell
Grimly cynical, Wren forms part of a dysfunctional family, and her dream is to escape to college, leaving her family behind. But before that dream becomes true, she is invited to the biggest Halloween bash in her area, a one-night reprieve from the family’s drama.
Wren’s mother decides that she wants to go out with her toyboy on the very same night as the party, leaving Wren to babysit her baby brother. Reluctantly, she decides to take her brother out trick-or-tricking, as the thought of staying home depresses her even further. All goes well until she loses her little brother in a sea of monsters.
Filled with panic, she quickly ropes in her best friend April, wannabe player Peng, and his charming geek pal Roosevelt. The goal is simple, find her brother and get him to safety without her toy-boy-loving mom finding out. It turns out Halloween is going to be a party after all.
6. Blockers (2018)
Director: Key Cannon
Cast: Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon, and Ramona Young
Ask any dad what his worst nightmare is, and he will probably say “prom night,” especially if he has a teenage daughter. Parents love their offspring, well most parents and prom night creates an expectation for most teens, be it drinking excessively or fornication. It is what it is.
Julie, Kayla, and Sam have been best friends since their first day of school. With prom night around the corner, they secretly make a pact with each other to lose their virginity on a special night. Each one of the girls has a different reason for doing this.
Julie wants a special night with Austin, her boyfriend of six months. Kayla feels that losing your virginity on prom night is a rite of passage that she will eventually have to go through, so she might as well be with her good-hearted prom date Conner. Sam is secretly lesbian, and her reason is that she wants to feel part of the crowd and is willing to go the straight-sex route with Chad.
As the three determined girls leave for prom night, the horrified parents discover their plans to return as non-virgins and set out to stop the girls from making a huge mistake. A game of hiding and seeking ensues, and the prom night turns out to be full of misadventure.
7. Tag (2018)
Director: Jeff Tomsic
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress, and Leslie Bibb
Boys will be boys. Hogan, Bob, Randy, Kevin, and Jerry played tag every May month, starting in 1983 when they were 9-years old. The game has never stopped. Now grownups, they still tag each other in the most innovative ways come May month.
The tag group’s main rule is that the last person tagged remains “it” until the next season. The only one of the friends never been tagged or been “it” is Jerry, much to the frustration of the rest of the taggers. Jerry is just too athletic and smart to get tagged, and when he announces his planned retirement after the upcoming event, the rest of the gang decides to tag Jerry before his upcoming wedding.
Jerry did not invite any of them to his wedding because he knew they would target him during any of the ceremonies. The friends struck a deal that no tagging would be allowed if Jerry allowed them to go to his wedding. Jerry’s wedding may be the last opportunity to tag him. Will his friends stay true to their word, or will obsession win the day?
8. Vacation (2015)
Director: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Charlie Day, and Catherine Missal
Rusty Griswold is a hard-working family man. He’s a pilot working for an average airline and wants to spend some quality time with his wife and family when his holiday comes around. He decides to take them to his childhood holiday spot, Wally World, but it seems that he is the only one excited about the trip.
Wally rents an Albanian S.U.V. for the trip, and from the start, the road trip seemed doomed. He has two sons who are as different as night and day, and his wife seems to dread the vacation, while Wally wants to create magical memories with his family. Memories are made. Whether they are magical is up to the viewer.
Disaster after a disaster hits Wally and his family with a certain regularity, and it’s left to be seen if the family structure survives the trip. Will the two boys learn how to get along, and will Wally’s wife rediscover her love for him. All will be revealed. Let’s go on vacation!
9. The Sandlot (1993)
Director: David Mickey Evans
Cast: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Brandon Quintin Adams, and Grant Gelt
Scotty Smalls is the shy new kid on the block. He desperately wants to join the baseball team playing in the neighborhood sandlot every day. The problem is he does not know how to catch a baseball. His stepfather is too busy to teach him, but he wants to join in the fun.
Mustering all of his courage, he joins the sandlot gang and tries to learn the game as he goes along. Luckily for him, the team needs an extra player to fill the team. Scotty is then taken under the wing of the sandlot’s best player Benny Rodriquez.
It is an awesome summer for the boys, that is until Scotty (who can play a bit by now) hits the stuffing out of the only baseball they possess. Wanting to make things right with his new friends, he borrows his stepfather’s baseball. Play continuos as per normal.
Not for long, though, as Scotty hits the “borrowed” baseball for his first home run, straight into mean old Mr. Mertle’s junkyard. To make things worst is that Mr. Mertle is the owner of the legendary guard dog The Beast! Did I mention that the famous Babe Ruth signed the ball?
To save their summer and Scotty’s skin, the boys will have to devise a plan to get the ball back from the place where baseballs go to die.
10. The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys (2002)
Director: Peter Care
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch, Jena Malone, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jodie Foster, Arthur Bridgers, Jake Richardson, and Tyler Long
Set in the mid-1970s in Savannah, lead altar boy and usual troublemaker Tim Sullivan, Francis Doyle, Wade Scalisi, and Joey Anderson study at a repressive Catholic school. Here they have to fight what all teenagers go through hormones, boredom, repression and finding meaning in life.
Francis is an artist of note, and his comic book “The Atomic Trinity” gives the boys alter-egos to help them escape from reality. Francis is ‘Brakken,’ Tim is known as ‘The Muscle/Skeleton Boy,’ Wade is ‘Captain Asskicker,’ and Joey goes by the alter-ego ‘Major Screw.’ Margie Flynn, Francis’s secret crush, joins the superhero gang, going by the name of ‘Sorcerella.’
The gang of heroes has an arch-villain in the form of the super-strict Sister Assumpta, and when she confiscates their comic books one day, revenge is on the agenda. As in the comic book, when the heroes need to face the evil ‘Nunzilla,’ the real-life ‘superheroes’ conjure up a revenge plan.
11. The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
Director: Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz
Cast: Zack Gottsegen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Ann Owens, Thomas Haden Church, Yelawolf, John Hawkes, and Bruce Dern
Young adult Zak has Down Syndrome, and due to being without a biological family, he is housed in a state facility in Richmond, Virginia. Zak’s primary caregiver, Eleanor, does everything in her power to look after him. On the other hand, Zak has big dreams, dreams he can only pursue outside of the facility.
Zak is inspired to become a wrestler after watching videos of his favorite wrestler, Salt Water Redneck. His hero wrestler has a wrestling school in Ayden, North Carolina, where Zak desperately wants to go. With the help of some crafty residents, he manages to do just that, and so his journey begins.
Tyler works for a boat shop in the same area. Since losing his brother, he has somewhat lost his way in life, resorting to poaching, which burns many a bridge in the fishing industry. Tyler decides to go to Jupiter, Florida, to start a new life. Fate intervenes in both their lives when they meet each other while on their separate missions.
Seeing that they are both ‘outlaws,’ Tyler vows to help Ayden get to Aiden while making his way to Jupiter. The bond that they form gives each a different perspective on life. However, they are being pursued by people who can potentially end their newfound friendship.
12. Mid90s (2019)
Director: Jonah Hill
Cast: Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterson, Lucas Hedges, Na-Kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, Gio Galicia, and Alexa Demi
Set in the mid-1990s in Los Angeles, 13-year-old Stevie lives with his fitness-obsessed, highly aggressive older brother Ian and single mother Dabney. Stevie struggles with a co-dependent mother, an abusive brother, and his family life isn’t easy. At school, the richer kids tend to overlook him, as Stevie struggles to fit in anywhere.
That all changes when Stevie rides past Motor Avenue Skate Shop, where he gets to admire the brotherhood and camaraderie of the skateboarders skating outside the shop. Stevie trades Ian for a skateboard and heads to the shop, hoping for the best yet fearing the worst.
Luckily, the skaters are friendly, and he quickly befriends young Ruben. He quickly gets the nickname ‘Sunburn’ and imitates their daredevil antics and anti-social behaviors. Stevie is about to get an education concerning race, class, and privilege. A hard knock life in the literal and figurative sense.
13. The Little Rascals (1994)
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Cast: Bug Hall, Travis Tedford, Brittany Ashton Holmes, Kevin Jamal Woods, Jordan Warkol, Zachary Mabry, Ross Bagley, Sam Saletta, Blake Jeremy Collins, Whoopi Goldberg, and Darryl Hannah
Spanky is the proud president of the “He-Man Woman Haters Club” and has many neighborhood boys. Alfalfa has been nominated to drive the club’s prize-winning go-kart in the annual Soap Box Derby. The only problem is that the boys can’t find Alfalfa to inform him of his prestigious election.
To their shock and absolute horror, the boys find Alfalfa in the company of a girl called Darla. This love situation is not good, not good at all. Alfalfa being in love with a girl no less is a direct infringement of what the club stands for. It could signal the end of the “He-Man Woman Haters Club.”
The loyal club members try everything in their power to break up the two love birds but only manage to burn down their club’s headquarters. Darla eventually believes that Alfalfa is ashamed of her and turns her attention to Waldo, a new rich kid. To top it all of, their beloved go-kart ”The Blur,” gets stolen by the neighborhood bullies. Nothing is going their way, so the little rascals decide to band together and start afresh.
Will Alfalfa stay loyal to the club this time, or will his love for Darla destroy everything?
Some of the movies listed above are flat-out comedies, while others address serious questions about life. They are all entertaining in their own way. Learning how to laugh while going through serious changes is very important for the human psyche.
The harder we fall, the more we learn. Learn to laugh. Make new friends.
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