"Good Kids" understands coming-of-age comedies and really nails some aspects of it, but the road there is too bumpy for it to be anything but a missed opportunity.
The cast of four friends all stand out in their own ways but don't feel manufactured or like too much of a trope. Nora's the closest, as the beautiful girl who everyone suddenly realizes is beautiful, but they navigate that well and Zoey Deutch being the best part of the film helps that case even more. They feel real, and that's really, really tough to do with a group of close friends at this age group.
Andy being kind of an asshole made him more endearing in a strange way, I guarantee you know someone as odd as Lion and Spice's character and story is very straightforward and normal, which was needed.
They nail the charm I love about these types of movies. There are little things like Nora making it weird when Andy admits he has feelings, Andy catching the food with his mouth and the online girl actually being real, very attractive and down with Andy are all nice touches.
There are two scenes in particular, though, that are terrific.
First, Andy's sit-down with Conch and the reveal that his friend group wasn't "the weirdo outcasts everyone thought were just that," but, rather, everyone thought they were fine and they were actually the ones separating themselves from the parties and everyone else at the school. That was excellent and a properly executed curveball that didn't change much, but gave the story some great perspective.
Second, the last scene in the movie. Andy showing up to college is perfection. I can't explain all of it, but the entire scene captures what it is like to show up to a university after a questionable high school experience. Andy looks out the window with excitement and curiosity. He sees his parents drive away and realizes he's going to miss them and this is really happening. Then, someone makes him feel comfortable (w/ a good callback to the food catching) and he realizes he's in a new space with new, different people that is going to produce the best years of his life. That doesn't pinpoint the framework here, but god damn is it great.
And that gave me a very strong bittersweet feeling once the credits rolled. Nothing in this movie hits from a plot perspective. Andy is a virgin outcast in the beginning of the movie who immediately has a smokeshow throw herself at him, gets to have sex with a bunch of hot moms for money and then has his gorgeous, fascinating best friend fall for him before he goes off to college. Nothing interesting happens outside of Andy's story, and that's a shame, because his feels as fake as some parts of this movie feel real.