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New Release Review - EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!

A budding baseball player spends a few wild days in the run up to his first day of college.



Review by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Starring: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Wyatt Russell



There are plenty of movies that prove hanging out with boisterous young American men can be not just fun, but enlightening; Big WednesdayBreaking Away and Fandango are three of the best, but Linklater's film has none of the melancholic uncertainty that elevates those examples.




After becoming a critical darling all over again with the much praised Before Midnight and Boyhood, Richard Linklater is having fun this time with the far lighter toned comedy drama Everybody Wants Some!!, a love letter to the filmmaker's college days and a movie he bills as a "spiritual sequel" to his 1993 high school drama Dazed and Confused.

The Linklater surrogate here is Jake (Blake Jenner), who joins up with a group of fellow baseball players at a college in a small Texan town. It's 1980, and AIDS and 'safe spaces' are terms yet to be coined, giving these jocks free run of the college in terms of spreading their, apparently much sought after, seed.



Everybody Wants Some!! borrows its title from a Van Halen song, which tells you how seriously the film takes itself. The movie is a fantasy of male college life, set in an alternate Texas where none of the girls are remotely overweight, and baseball players can chop mid-air balls in two with axes. It's a hangout movie, and as such, your acceptance of the film depends on how much you want to hang out with its characters. At first they come off as a bunch of misogynist jerks, and frankly they remain so - with the exception of the wide-eyed Jake, who is something of a blank canvas, there to react to his over the top surroundings - but much to the credit of the ensemble cast, we eventually warm to these idiots in what may admittedly be a cinematic form of Stockholm Syndrome.


But hanging out with these guys is taxing, and they grind you down. The film's tagline reads "We're here for a good time not a long time", but at almost two hours, it sure feels like a long time, but not so much of a good time. The movie is almost saved by the appearance of Beverly (Zoey Deutch, daughter of actress Lea Thompson and a dead ringer for her mother), the object of Jake's affection and the only female character allowed speak more than two lines of dialogue. Deutch lights up the screen in an instant star-making turn, and her character is a welcome relief from the constant testosterone, but her screen time is all too short. The rest of the movie's females are essentially props, and appear to have been cast at the Playboy mansion. One particularly insulting moment suggests feminism is merely a ploy uptight girls use to play hard to get.

Linklater's film plays like a genre movie that doesn't quite fit into any genre; it's not quite raunchy enough to be a sexploitation flick, and it often resembles a musical with the song and dance numbers cut out, or a Friday the 13th sequel in which Jason never appears.


There are plenty of movies that prove hanging out with boisterous young American men can be not just fun, but enlightening; Big Wednesday, Breaking Away and Fandango are three of the best, but Linklater's film has none of the melancholic uncertainty that elevates those examples, an element also present in his own Dazed and Confused. These guys haven't a care in the world, which makes for a distinct lack of conflict. The movie essentially becomes a puppet show as we're left to simply watch its players clown around, and with little to no depth to any of its characters (or caricatures in some cases) it ultimately comes down to how amusing you find them. Personally, they're the sort of guys I spent my youth attempting to avoid.
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