Boyhood director Richard Linklater brings an appealingly laid-back, loose-limbed spirit to his nostalgic comedy about a college baseball team in 1980 Texas, Everybody Wants Some!!
Everybody Wants Some!! doesn’t have much in the way of a plot. We follow freshman baseball pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) as he gets to know his new teammates in the house they share during the three days before the start of term. He joins them as they cruise the campus attempting to chat up girls and takes a shine to pretty performing arts student Beverly (Zoey Deutch). Nothing particularly earth shattering takes place.
Yet for all its breezy nonchalance, the film still manages to be a deceptively subtle portrait of young manhood. Frat-boy jocks usually get a bad rap in movies (filmmakers tend not to be former jocks). Yet Linklater captures his characters’ bantering camaraderie and boozy machismo with disarming sympathy.
He even gives a pass to their addled, ultra-competitive bonding rituals. You can almost smell the booze, bad cologne and testosterone. Beneath all the joshing, there is a sense of young people finding their identities – as is suggested by the way the gang moves from one party and club to the next, from disco to country-and-western and punk.
Significantly, the final bash before term starts is a costume party thrown by the performing arts students, where the gang’s verbose, charismatic ringleader, Glen Powell’s Finnegan, even affects an interest in astrology in a bid to chat up a girl. Somehow, like the film itself, his gambit proves charming rather than sleazy.
Linklater describes Everybody Wants Some!! as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to his 1993 high-school comedy Dazed and Confused, which was set in 1976 and starred a young Ben Affleck, Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey. He gets similarly engaging performances from his new cast and again displays a great feel for the era’s slang, music, fashions and mores.
Certificate 15. Runtime 112 mins. Director Richard Linklater
Everybody Wants Some!! is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from Entertainment One.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.