Review: Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some!!
9 10
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PLOT: A college freshman (Blake Jenner) on a baseball scholarship gets to know his teammates the weekend before classes start.

REVIEW: Much has been made about how EVERYBODY WANTS SOME is a “spiritual sequel” to DAZED & CONFUSED, to the point that this phrase is even on the poster. Being that DAZED is one of my all-time favorite films, I went in to this one with a bit of trepidation. While Richard Linklater is nothing if not reliable, after something as profound as BOYHOOD or even BEFORE MIDNIGHT, would he still have the right kind of touch to deliver the same kind of “good-time” comedy he did back in ‘93?

everybody wants some

The answer - of course - is yes. Linklater is as solid on that front as he ever was and EVERYBODY WANTS SOME does indeed feel like a kind of follow-up, at least thematically. That film centered around a disparate group of teens having a good time on the first night of summer in ‘76, with one of the main characters being a soon-to-be freshman ball-player who’s ushered into teen-hood by some nice-guy jocks. If that character started school in the fall of ‘76, he would have begun university at the same time as Blake Jenner’s Jake and gone to the same school as him. In fact, they probably would have been teammates.

While this doesn’t carry-over any of the same characters, they’re still an easily identifiable bunch. Like DAZED, the joy of this is how Linklater just lets us hang-out with them as they have carefree-fun, with some very real changes on the horizon but not worth worrying about at the moment. Jake is our entree into this 1980 Austin, Texas jock world, which consists of tons of partying and baseball. That’s pretty much it but that’s the movie’s charm. Linklater isn’t out to make some kind of profound statement or summing-up about the kids who would have been his contemporaries. Rather, he invites you just to take it all in, forget your worries and have fun - like the guys (and gals) are having on-screen. This isn’t BOYHOOD, but it doesn’t need to be.

Very much a Linklater-surrogate, Jake is an easygoing guy, who immediately hits it off with his teammates (the hazing is quick and innocent) even if there’s a sense of rivalry and one-upmanship with each, with the pressure being that they have to perform on the field to keep their place on the team and in the university. But, these guys always have each others backs, even if it means getting one of their headcase pitchers (Juston Street) out of trouble of his own making and more. Still, the stakes are low. There are no deadly accidents or scandals. These guys are having fun sowing their wild oats and there’s no overtly P.C judgment coming from Linklater (nor should there be).

It helps that the ballplayers happen to be a nice gang of guys, open to cruising disco bars, country-western dives, punk bars and a climatic theater arts party - all in search of a good time. They’re not out to hurt anyone and their antics are definitely of the “hi-jinx” category rather than anything else, all set to a rockin’ eighties soundtrack packed to the gills with all the hits of the era (from the opening licks of ‘My Sharona’ to the titular Van Halen track).

everybody wants some zoey deutch blake jenner

As with DAZED & CONFUSED, Linklater’s cast this with unknowns who likely won’t stay that way for long. Jenner is an affable, easy-going lead, maybe a bit more of a jock than Ellar Coltrane’s protagonist in BOYHOOD, but just as likable. Tyler Hoechlin from MTV’s Teen Wolf reboot plays the alpha-male team-captain, while Wyatt Russell steals scenes as the mysterious new stoner pitcher with the carefully curated collection of Twilight Zone episodes and the best pot. Of all the guys, Glen Powell makes the biggest impression as the sly, Matthew McConaughey-esque Finnegan, who’s interested in scoring with chicks and not much else, but does it with such gusto he just can’t miss. While EVERYBODY WANTS SOME is definitely more bro-y than DAZED, Zoey Deutch (who strongly resembles her mom - Lea Thompson) is utterly charming as the sweet, smart theater girl Jake finds himself infatuated with, and before long we share his crush.

The only downside about EVERYBODY WANTS SOME is that Linklater makes it seem so natural and effortless that people may not recognize what a real achievement this is, as it’s rare for a movie to come along that really makes you feel good, or at least momentarily recapture those good vibes you had in young adulthood. In that way, it’s kind of magical and there’s no doubt this will become the same kind of cult-ish, often watched movie as its predecessor.

Source: JoBlo.com



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