Title: Everybody Wants Some!!
MPAA: Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman
Synopsis: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.
Richard Linklater’s last film was Boyhood. I have made it clear on this website that I really like Boyhood, so it was obvious that I was really anticipating his next film. Everybody Wants Some!! is very similar to Dazed and Confused. For those that haven’t seen Dazed and Confused, it is basically about a day in the life of a large group of high school students after the last day of school. It is a straight forward plot. It doesn’t really have a traditional three-act structure. Everybody Wants Some!! is even more straight forward than Dazed and Confused. It just follows the same group of college baseball players throughout the entire film, with really no confrontation or climax. It is one of Linklater’s most lade-back films, and that’s saying something. Linklater’s directing style is very relaxed and open to improvisation. I can tell that Linklater used the same approach with this film as well. All the actors seemed very serene and carefree. Even though the cast was pretty much all new actors, they all pulled off good performances. This is a comedy, and they played off each other very well. Their chemistry was very solid, and I have to give a lot of credit to Linklater for making it happen. He understands how to get the best out of his actors, through spontaneity and improvisation. He trusts his actors, and this very young cast proved to do a good enough job with the material they dealt with.
With Everybody Wants Some!!, Linklater wasn’t trying to prove anything or make a statement. His last film, Boyhood, was a perfect representation of our society in the early 2000s. It proved that we tend to forget the small events in our lives that define who we are later. Everybody Wants Some!! was just a fun comedy about the social life of college students. This is a very personal film for Linklater, who had this idea for the film back in 2002. This film takes place in 1980, where he was in college around that time. He played baseball, and he pretty much wanted to make a film that dealt with his time back in college. This film basically follows these baseball players in the days leading up to the first day of school. Pretty much the opposite of Dazed and Confused. We witness them through many parties, bar-hopping, and playing baseball. This must have been a fun time for Linklater back when he was in college, and he probably wanted to make a film expressing the joy he had. That’s all this film really is. It’s not trying to prove anything, and should not be taken too seriously. It is a very entertaining film, that is truly hilarious at times. There were scenes that literally made me laugh out loud. I think it is his funniest film since School of Rock.
This film has a very large cast. Linklater has always been good about meddling a large group of characters, and this is no different. Every character has a unique trait, and rarely is one left out. They all get enough screen time to really shine. The writing in this film is very good, especially the dialogue. Linklater has always had a gift of writing natural dialogue on-screen, and this is no different. At times, it doesn’t even feel like a film. There are some really interesting characters in this film, but not as much as Dazed and Confused had.
I mentioned earlier that this film is very similar to Dazed and Confused. However, it is not as great as Dazed and Confused is. Everybody Wants Some!! lacks likable characters that you root for. The main protagonist, Jake, is pretty likable, but honestly I had to look up his name on IMDB. There isn’t one character that really stands out among the rest. They are all very similar, and have the same goals of banging chicks and getting drunk. Dazed and Confused had a nice balance of many different characters with different traits, ages, and genders. A lot of these characters are just one-note characters, that don’t have a lot of depth. The story also isn’t very impressive either. There really isn’t a story at all to this, and it tends to drag a little toward the last third of the film. There isn’t a nice flow to the film like Richard Linklater’s other films tend to have. Lastly, there isn’t a conflict or antagonist to this movie that creates drama or adds depth. The characters don’t really learn anything from this film, and are basically the same at the end as they were in the beginning. Basically there is no character development. These are things that could have made this already enjoyable film even better.
Everybody Wants Some!! is an enjoyable film by one of the best directors working today, Richard Linklater. Linklater has an act for creating realistic, but enjoyable dialogue for his characters, and this film has plenty of it. It also has fantastic music from the late 70s and early 80s that fit the time period perfectly. It isn’t one of Linklater’s best films, but it is still really enjoyable, and may be his funniest film to date. This film does a great job of experimenting on how males interact with each other, and how competitive they can get at times. However, in return, it lacks really good female characters. Everybody Wants Some!! isn’t perfect, but shouldn’t be missed by anyone who played baseball, grew up in the 80s, or loves Richard Linklater movies. My grade for this film is: