Funeral Kings

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Of all the coming-of-age films set among adolescents at Catholic schools, “Funeral Kings” is one of the most heartfelt and charming, not to mention one of the most realistically vulgar. The potty-mouthed 13- and 14-year-old boys who populate the feature debut of brothers Kevin and Matthew McManus are more interested in cleavage and cigarettes than catechisms, and the natural, unaffected performances by Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, and Jordan Puzzo — all the same age as their characters, setting this apart from most Hollywood productions — are endearing, no matter how profane their behavior. Set in a small Rhode Island town, apparently in the present but with an old-fashioned feel (the kids seek glimpses of boobies at the video store, not the Internet), the film is a funny slice-of-life exercise about cynical altar boys Andy and Charlie introducing a new kid into their circle. Not every episode in their adventures is plausible, but most of what befalls them as they scheme to attend a high school party, obtain an R-rated DVD, and steal food from the town’s Chinese buffet has a familiar “boys will be boys” ring to it. This is a strong first film from the McManus Brothers.

B+ (1 hr., 25 min.; R, abundant harsh profanity, vulgarity, sexual dialogue.)

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