Hey, I Watched This!
Reviewing Movies I've watched recently.
Hello, and welcome back!
I watched a good one this month, so let me talk about it!
This month's flick is Good Kids (2016).
Here is the IMDB synopsis, "Four high school students look to redefine themselves after graduation."
Written and directed by Chris McCoy, and starring Nicholaus Braun (Sky High, Red State, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Zoey Deutch (Flower, Everyboidy Wants Some!, The Disaster Artist), Mateo Arias (Disney's Kickin' It), and Israel Broussard (Happy Death Day, The Bling Ring). Also featuring Ashley Judd (yes, that Ashley Judd).
Now, right off the bat, I was expecting this movie to be another "teen sex romp", ala American Pie. I was right, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The "Teen Sex Romp" sub genre can get tired. A lot of the same ideas, same tropes, same formulas. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but there has to be something to make the flick stand out. Good Kids (2016) has just that, in spades!
(INSERT OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING HERE!)
The flick opens with your typical introduction, four young kids, doing what they do. The smart math boy, the science girl, the karate boy, and the chubby kid.
We see them hanging out, and when they get invited to play with the other neighbourhood kids, they decline. (This is a major plot point later.)
Flash forward to after High School graduation. Each of the four is gearing up for college, Andy (Braun) wants sexual experience before going off to college (and hoping to impress his online girlfriend from India), Nora (Deutch) wants a real romantic relationship, The Lion (Arias), yes that is the name he goes by, wants to expand his martial arts philosophies by experimenting with drugs, and Spice (Broussard), yes another nickname, really just wants some "release", before going off to culinary school.
They all lament that this is their last summer together and they've never had any real "High School" shenanigans. So, after getting invited to a party, they decide to dive in to the "Summer of Yes".
At the party, where they expect to be ostracized and unwelcome, they quickly become embraced by the other partiers, by just being themselves. Andy impresses people with a party trick, Nora meets up, and connects with, her workplace crush, The Lion gains a small crowd performing Tai Chi while smoking weed, and Spice wins a bet from a pretty girl by baking a souffle, that doesn't fall, in the middle of the party. Not once does anyone treat them as outcasts?
Andy works at the local country club in the Tennis Pro Shop, and is a newly promoted Tennis Pro, giving beginner tennis lessons to the wealthy club wives. Enter Gabby(Judd), one of the wives, who convinces Andy to come to her home for "Private Tennis Lessons". This escalates for Andy, into a lucrative, but dangerous, side venture.
This is where things stand out. More parties, more popularity, and then one line of dialogue, almost thrown away, makes a big reveal. Andy stumbles into a conversation with another classmate, who reveals the no one ever disliked Andy and his friends, Andy and his friends chose to exclude themselves(remember the opening scene)!
More shenanigans ensue, until we get to the melancholy happy end, where everyone says their goodbyes.
Some parts familiar and formulaic, with splashes of originality. It just works for me.
That's not to say this film's plot is perfect. Of course, there are some scenes that enter into the realm of ridiculous, which kind of feel out of place, since the rest of the film is so normal/believable. Particularly when Police are involved. I'm sorry, but I hate when movie cops, just blatantly bend the rules, or not follow any sort of actually procedure, unless of course, that is quickly established as part of the character or story. This is not the case in this flick, and it bothered me. Cops don't make arrests disappear because you helped them with their mortgage claim, and they definitely don't give somebody a ride home, after they just beat the crap out of a bunch of angry middleaged husbands. No lie! "Huh? Did they deserve it? Yes? Ha! You kids are alright. Come on we'll give you a lift home." FUCK!
*Breathe Jason, this is not one of "those" reviews.*
The acting is pretty darn good. There's great energy from everyone, and at no time did I feel the acting was forced or weak. No one completely stands out, which I am sure I have said in past reviews is not a bad thing at all. Except maybe Arias' The Lion. Arias' plays the character as a wannabe Mr Miyagi, with a speech impediment, which at first seems strange, but he grows on you quickly. And yes, he does prove his skill, and why they call him The Lion, defending Andy from an angry mob of tennis Husbands. A solid cast, hitting all the right notes.
Naturally, the film looks good. No crazy visuals, no trippyness, a few Broll shots of the local scenery, in a beautiful, Highend, summer resort town. So not much to review there.
All in all, I really enjoyed this flick. There is enough originality in the story points, and some of the characters, that make it stand out for me. I won't call it a "breath of fresh air" in the subgenre, but it is a decent little breeze of fresh air, if you get my meaning?
I give Good Kids (2016), a well deserved, 3 1/2 howls of pleasure out of 5. You should give it a watch!
See you next time folks!
P.S. A special shoutout, and CONGRATULATIONS, to the entire The World of Myth family. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, and here's to many more! HUZZAH!!
Please, feel free to leave any comments, questions, or suggestions, down below! I'd really like to hear from you!