Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Ryan Guzman
Release Date: 13 May
Set at the end of the summer in 1980, Everybody Wants Some!! tells the story of Jake, a baseball scholar. Over the course of the film, Jake settles into the boisterous and unsupervised life of college in the few days before his first class.
The marketing for Everybody Wants Some!! has sold the film as being “The Spiritual Sequel To Dazed and Confused“, an early classic in Linklater’s career and the bigger budget follow up to his breakthrough debut movie, Slacker.
After the acclaim of Boyhood, a film that took over 12 years to complete, Everybody Wants Some!! can easily be seen as a back to basics kind of project.
Linklater has earned himself a respectful reputation for making somewhat plotless, often comedic, dramas that take their audience through an emotional and realistic feeling experience, rather than tell a straight story. Something that would be thought of as an artistic direction. But Linklater has also taken a more commercially conservative route with other projects like School of Rock and Bad News Bears.
This movie does veer close to the likes of Dazed and Confused, which told the tale of the last day of a high school in 1976, and the many people involved.
However, Everybody Wants Some!! takes a lighter, more conservative route through the fields of comedy. To put it rather too simply, it’s kind of like the thinking man’s Animal House or Porky’s.
The cast are an extremely impressive ensemble. They bring life to the many characters that Linklater has, without surprise, written masterfully. Combined with their convincing performances, the film allows you to once again feel like you’ve stepped into a room and spent time with real people.
What’s particularly fascinating about the casting of the film is the attention paid to the actor’s physical appearance. It would appear that everyone onscreen was chosen, not just for their talent, but also for how closely they resemble those who were born and raised into the era of which the film is set.
There’s a strange, almost off-putting quality of the male leads that just screams good old Americana.
Over the course of the film we really get to know and relate to these characters. There is very little conflict or serious drama over the course of nearly 2 hours. Which is fine, because if anyone can pull that kind of thing off, it’s Linklater.
The only real issue with Everybody Wants Some!! is that you kind of end up wanting some.
More, that is.
Comparing the film to Dazed and Confused conjures up a bit of a contrast. Dazed was a film that manages to say everything that needed to be said over the course of one single night. Time simply passes, but we learn everything about what those characters are experiencing and feeling.
Everybody Wants Some!! makes a note early on that it’s counting down to the first classes of college. Yet when we reach the conclusion, it feels like there’s more to be said than what’s been covered over the few days that the movie chronicles.
A sophisticated and enlightening watch, but a light one nonetheless. This is not a bad thing as it’s a lovely film! Linklater strikes again, but without as many surprises up his sleeve.
With a great cast, predictable but very pleasant soundtrack and strong sense of craft, Everybody Wants Some!! is a fun, yet thoughtful watch, that’ll prove to be a great summer movie.
Broad but very smart, it’s a delightful comedy!
Written by Seamus Hanly