Impressively, Richard Linklater is a director who shows a continuous ability to stay in the groove as an independent filmmaker. Coming off the enormous success of Boyhood, you would think that for his next film he would cast some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Instead, he takes on another challenge, with a cast of no-names and rising stars, to portray the end of a liberating era in the 1980's. Lead by Blake Jenner as baby faced freshman Jake, he arrives in a beat up car, without a clue about what is in store for him, but still has one more weekend before reality hits. What better way to spend the last days of summer than with your new baseball teammates and a night out on the town?
The group of guys each have their own unique mannerisms, separating them from one another, but coming together to make a classic group. Willoughby (Wyatt Russell) sits friends down for a friendly bong and conversation about Nietzsche. Dale (J. Quinton Johnson) keeps peace between the Seniors and the newcomers. Finnegan (Glen Powell) is the one who plays tough, but has a softer side to himself, taking his time with his salon styled hair. Jay (Juston Street) is the way-too-competitive guy of the group, and McReynolds (Tyler Hoechin) has too much pride to let Jake make him look like a fool in a “friendly” game of ping pong. For these guys, everything in life is a competition.
It goes without saying, that if you are going to make a movie set in the 80's, you better get the look, feel, and sounds right. And this is a time that Linklater knows. The soundtrack snaps from M's “Pop Muzik” to “Good Times Roll” by The Cars, while the guys go out on the town in local hang out bars to disco clubs. The director highlights the night with line dancing sequences in a country bar, all of it a learning experience for Jake, during a time when guys and gals got together to celebrate their youth.
I started to wonder if the ladies would have any say in this movie, and if Everybody Wants Some!! has any flaws, it is a lack of female characters. Beverly catches Jakes eye early on. She is played by the adorable and charming Zoey Deutch. The two of them get a bit closer as the night goes on. They go to a costume party together with Beverly's artists friends and then decide to continue the conversation into the waking hour. Talking about topics that seem to always exist in a Linklater film, such as life, love, what our purpose is, movies, dancing, and on and on.
You have to be a big stick in the mud to not enjoy Everybody Wants Some!! It is above all things, a celebration. It is a fleeting glimpse of the greatest times of most peoples lives. I personally related to it, because if you have ever been on a college sports team, those group of people you bond with become your family. For all of their flaws and all of their qualities, they are your everything for the next four years. And I can't wait to see what Linklater has in store for this group of guys. Maybe they will become doctors, or teachers of our youth? Either way, it's fun to watch them have one wild weekend in college.
3 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady
MOVIE: EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
STARRING: BLAKE JENNER; TYLER HOECHLIN; ZOEY DEUTCH; GLEN POWELL
DIRECTED BY: RICHARD LINKLATER
AMovieGuy.com's RATING: 3 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
If you have ever wondered what the living, breathing, dictionary description of male college-bro meat heads would be like, look no further than the ensemble of Everybody Wants Some!! That might initially sound negative, yet somehow watching these characters simply exist without any shame what so ever is refreshing. The film follows an energetic group of lads, unaware of their shortcomings and proud of their sexual awakenings, on the verge of the greatest time of their lives: college. Richard Linklater tells a story that some may correlate as a potential sequel to Dazed and Confused, yet its intention is to lean toward an autobiographical film for the Austin, Texas director. Everybody Wants Some!! is an orientation into the excitement of college, competitive teammates, and the unknown mysticism that awaits the undergrad years. It's one of the most enjoyable times at the movies this year.