Saturday, January 21, 2017

Now on Netflix: Good Kids (2016)

Good Kids (2016) - Written and Directed by Chris McCoy; Starring Zoey Deutch, Nicholas Braun, Mateo Arias, Israel Broussard, Ashley Judd, Demian Bichir, Julia Garner.

By Kenny Howell

For the first hour or so of the new teen raunchy comedy Good Kids, it seems like they threw in every cliche from that genre, and just hit fast forward.

Our heroes are four nerdy kids who have never been to parties, and are less than experienced. They are going to go off to college, all to really prestigious schools like Harvard, Dartmouth and Stanford, and want to be experienced before they go. At least one of them mainly, Andy, the very charming giant of a kid played by Nicholas Braun.

Within 20 minutes, they are already at the party, and luckily, they have a chance to get experienced, because that is what happens in these types of movies. But there needs to be more of a movie here, so it keeps going.

Then, Andy, who is a tennis instructor, starts getting paid by his clientele, mostly housewives, to give them private lessons, but they don't involve tennis. There is the geek wish fulfillment of it, and it seems a bit exploitative more so than funny.

Once it gets past all that, Good Kids relies on its two main leads, Braun (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) and the delightful Zoey Deutch (Everybody Wants Some), to do their thing, which is what they should have done the whole time. I didn't laugh until the last act of the film, and I did several times throughout the final moments of the movie. That is mostly because of Braun and Deutch, who are rising stars for a good reason. If they would have been showcased more early instead of trying to hard to recapture what have worked for other films of this like, this could have been good. But as it is, they just seem a bit lost and worthy of a better movie.

Good Kids is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: *1/2

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