‘Good Boys’ Movie: Who Signed Off On This Cruel Extinction of Childhood?

Strong, crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout, all involving tweens – Rated R.

That is the warning for the 2019 movie Good Boys, a tween comedy. What an oxymoron! Furthermore, as an excuse for the crass and lascivious nature of the film, some are saying:  … but they handled some of the pre-pubescent angst really well and it looks like it’s going to be really funny. 

This same logic can be used to describe abusers: I know they hit, bruise, and threaten, but when they’re not doing that, they handle some things well and are really funny. This logic is flawed at its very core and is thoroughly unacceptable.

The title may attempt to describe the innocent youngsters in the film, but with all the inappropriate material and language – including rampant F-bombs – they are exposed to, and pass on to, the viewers throughout its 90-minute duration, I’m not sure anyone can come out of it unscathed. For both the actors and the viewers, kids are encouraged to laugh at vulgar language and humor, teens are validated in their belief that this kind of language is really no big deal, and adults give the stamp of approval for all of it. This, in turn, invites everyone to take it even further the next time around – whether in film or in life.

In the Red Band Trailer, Producer Seth Rogen is trying to get ahead of the potential backlash and criticism by making a commercial telling the boys they can’t watch their own movie or trailer because of the rating. They can engage in all the restricted speech and behaviors repeatedly – take after explicit take – but they are simply too young for such vulgarity. What? This takes absurd to another level! Are we supposed to give this producer a high five for being so clever?

Why are these kids being exploited like this? They are clearly out of their element and rightly so – sex toys, drugs, and foul language are used as a hammer to pound the audience. In fact, the desensitization of our youth has reached new heights. How was this allowed to happen? Writers, casters, directors, marketers, producers, parents … was there anyone who gave thought to those boys as people; as young impressionable children in need of guidance? Were they sold out for the almighty dollar?

My request is that polite society – those fed up with the racing of our kids towards adulthood, who still believe in morality, good character, and childhood – take a stand to protect the innocence of our children. Resist the urge to “see just how bad the movie is” or “see if it’s as bad as it seems. Resist the urge to shell out your money at the box office and thereby defend the wildly grotesque use of underage children to inappropriately poke fun at the awkward, pre-adolescent stage we all must endure.

Even if the film handled certain parts of the subject well – the standard response used to defend and deflect from taking responsibility for its impropriety – that does not negate the crass exposure of those kids to adult material. Defenders of the movie point out that the trailer shows the innocence and naivety of the boys having no idea what the sex toys are, who the porn stars are married to, and what the drug life is really about. Yet, for us to watch as these young actors are mentally and emotionally raped by the infringement of adult issues – crass, gutter, immoral, excessive adult issues – is a monumental travesty. 

Then, because the stars are children themselves, parents will be more inclined to take their own children to see this movie. Hence the raping continues on mind after mind of unsuspecting children with their unaware and numb, yet culpable parents leading the way. This should not be. 

We must not sit idly by and watch this mass extinction of childhood. From elementary school drag queens performing for the public -including sexual deviant eyes boring in on them – to preteen girls actively sending nude photos of themselves to please some boy who is himself just a misguided kid, to single parents parading their multiple partners before their young impressionable children as potential mommy or daddy substitutes, we are piercing the innocent souls of our children and dragging them prematurely into the most selfish, indulgent, degradent, immoral, and unhealthy areas of human life. Because they are weak, inexperienced, naive, and so beautifully trusting, we must be held to a high standard of care, protection, consideration, and instruction when exposing our children and teens to things beyond their years … and well beyond their need-to-know threshold.

Not only does this movie fail to protect its young stars, I would argue that it actively exploits them! Where are the human rights advocates, the child protection agencies, the mothers against cruelty to children?

If pets or other animals were made to do inappropriate, scatalogical, demeaning, and crass things beyond the scope of their nature and were crudely exploited for our entertainment, there would be protests, marches, unending press coverage, and everyday people would be up in arms. But our children … they’ll be awwwight.

Not only will they be alright, but we’ll go watch them and take our kids to watch too. And we’ll laugh wildly, condoning it as we do. We’ll make sure everyone drinks the Kool-aid. This is a tragedy!

Box office sales determine the viability of a film and the likelihood of making more like it. Don’t validate them by putting money into the pockets of these movie-makers. Resist the urge. If you really want to see this movie, consider waiting until it finds its way to a streaming service, where the return on investment is lowered.  If you think this type of comedy goes too far, send a message now … or else, there will be more, many more.

#notAfraidToThink           #ProtectOurYouth               #GrowingUpTooFast

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