Written by Michael Clawson
Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!”, a so-called “spiritual sequel” to the director’s 1993 film “Dazed and Confused”, is set in Texas circa 1980 and follows a group of college baseball players reveling through their last weekend before the start of Fall classes. The focus is on Jake, a Freshman pitcher (played by Blake Jenner), who’s eager to explore his newfound freedom and to whom class is a mere afterthought. The upperclassmen, some of whom are more welcoming than others, are both quirky and highly self-assured. They take it upon themselves to show Jake and his fellow newcomers that although the upcoming baseball season is bound to be a good one, the real fun will be had off the field. “Work hard, play harder” best summarizes their philosophy.
The players spend the weekend bouncing from one venue to the next in pursuit of booze, sex, and camaraderie as if they were fraternity brothers, not athletes. This movie is not, however, a re-imagining of “Animal House”. Linklater has a more meaningful story to tell and his telling of it is simply a blast to absorb. He substitutes titillation for a more honest and nuanced depiction of young adults engaged in both pleasure-seeking and self-identification. In order to keep the alcohol flowing, the team ventures from a disco club, their stomping ground, to a country bar, a punk-rock show, and a party hosted by the performing arts “nerds”. As they do so, we watch them grow to understand that despite their identification first and foremost as baseball players, experiencing other cultural scenes is just as much fun as luxuriating at their home base. Linklater seems to posit that we each take our own road to adulthood, but what unifies our experience is the desire to have as much fun as we can along the way.
A few things detract from what overall is a highly enjoyable movie. One is that the film’s undoubtedly male perspective is occasionally overbearing. The camera tends to ogle the women, which is unfortunate considering that not all of the movie’s themes are applicable to men specifically. Secondly, the romance that blossoms in the story’s second half (Jake falls for a Theater student named Beverly, played by Zoey Deutch) feels a tad too good to be true. Nonetheless, I’d wager that “Everybody Wants Some!!” will hold up over time just as its predecessor has.
Everybody Wants Some Trailer
Everybody Wants Some!! is available on VOD