“Who’s a Good Boy?” is a Mexican variation on the “last guy to lose his virginity” teen sex comedy, one that takes its title from the label for guys who end up in “The Friend Zone,” aka being someone’s pet “dog.”
Director and co-writer Ihtzi Hurtado did the female classmates who switch bodies at the reunion romp “Crazy for Change” for Amazon. Which makes her an...interesting choice for this partially pigish boys-eye-view of high school, girls and sex.
Chema, the nickname of high school senior Jose Maria (Sebastian Dante), is a tall, awkward and lovelorn kid staring down his senior year with his best buds Hugo and Ruben (Diego Meléndez, Harold Azuara), plotting out his timeline — class Christmas party, class trip, applying to engineering schools.
But the closest thing he has for a love life is an online video of “beach girl,” which he masturbates to every chance he gets.
He’s too shy and inexperienced to ask anybody out, something we see him demonstrate in class to more than one classmate.
Eli? She (Luisa Guzmán Quintero) is into music, like him. They’ve been friends since childhood. They should totally apply together for that teen DJ job they see advertised in school. So. Sure.
But, you know, she’s his “cousin,” as everybody knows. And then he gets distracted when a school administrator assigned him to welcome and escort around, show the ropes to, a goddess from Acapulco, Claudia (Sirena Ortiz).
All Claudia has to do is show up in something revealing and let him take her around, then drive her to and from school, and buy her a coffee from a trendy chain because “I’ve seen influencers” drinking that, and he’s putty in her hands.
When she starts calling him “baby,” that seals it.
But we’ve seen how teachers and the same administrator who gave him this “show her the school” duties regard Chema. He’s a “softy,” a pushover, the guy others impose on and walk all over.
He won’t hear it, even when his pals finally get around to tell him he’s a “dog with an ‘o'” (in Spanish, subtitled or dubbed into English). Chema is fast becoming Claudia’s “pet.”
His semi-clueless friends aren’t the only giving him advice. There’s his “uncle” Jaime (Adrián Vásquez), a salty friend his Chema’s late father who “made him a promise” to look out for Chema, his little sister and their mother (Grettell Valdez). He’s always coming south from El Paso to “help out” and dispense something “I really really hate to” give — “advice.”
“If the broad comes in for a hug, say good-bye, son.”
The movie is about Chema ignoring all the advice and all the warning signs, trying everything he can to win the fair Claudia, and hilariously humiliating himself all along the way.
Well, maybe not “hilariously.”
The script sets up a parallel romantic problem — Jaime’s “dog” status with Chema’s mom, Gloria. But that’s left underdeveloped.
It tries to wring laughs out of Chema deciding Claudia’s hot to trot, and stripping for her only to find out she’s got somebody else in mind.
And it tries to pass Chema off as a teen classic rock fan, an invention of middle-aged screenwriters, who just can’t get into reggaeton.
Still, one of Uncle Jaime’s pieces of advice is almost feminist, a pleasant surprise, telling the boy girls are just trying out dating and romantic partners for compatibility at this age, just like guys. “Everybody gets around,” in other words, and that’s OK and to be expect.
As the picture opens with a used condom to the face and romps into masturbation and flatulence, the bar is set low early on.
But “Who’s a Good Boy?” still disappoints and aggravates, an unfunny unromantic comedy about a guy getting multiple chances to get it right from a girl who should be insulted enough from that first, second or third rejection to never give him the time of day.
Rating: TV-MA, sexual situations, profanity, teen drinking
Cast: Sebastian Dante, Sirena Ortiz, Diego Meléndez, Harold Azuara, Yankel Stevan, Grettell Valdez,
Adrián Vásquez and Luisa Guzmán Quintero
Credits: Directed by Ihtzi Hurtado, scripted by Borja Cobeaga, Ihtzi Hurtado and Diego San José. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:35