Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review
From an impromptu singing of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” to hitting baseballs at the incoming freshman recruits, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is alive with entertainingly humorous characters and infectious energy. Writer/director Richard Linklater has deemed EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! as a spiritual sequel to his 1993 hit DAZED AND CONFUSED. This description is about as perfect as you can get and your opinion of the first movie should correlate nicely with this one.
DAZED AND CONFUSED captures the last day of high school students living in 1976 with care-free precision. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! has that same precision capturing the experiences of a college baseball team living without adult supervision with one (maybe two) things on their mind in 1980. The year is perhaps the most important aspect of these films as it transcends the material into historic capsules but with a relatability that makes it oddly timeless.
Jake (Blake Jenner) is a tall, good-looking freshman pitcher stepping into his new home – the baseball team college house. The cast of characters within the walls emulate a wide range of the male competitively driven sports enthusiasts. The spazzy testosterone-filled transfer, the competitive captain with a bit of a mean streak, the smooth talking party instigator, the roll with the punches veteran, the awkwardly trying to fit in new guy, the pot smoking free spirit, the country home body, and all the gullible freshmen. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! takes place in the three days leading up to the first day of class. In that time, the groups interaction consists pretty much of free-living, drinking, partying and competing in unusual games that usually ends up ridiculing one another in the most lovingly way a brother can show, which means a humiliating belittlement in some crass or juvenile fashion.
While Jake may be our protagonist this is truly an ensemble piece whose characters are directly influenced by the period. The clothes, hair, music, hair, language, did I mention hair? and overall style of EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is one that will reflect a generation with amusing admiration. What’s so great about these group of diverse but similarly driven characters are the talented mostly no named cast that makes them up. J. Quinton Johnson, Juston Street, Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell, Tanner Kalina and Zoey Deutch are just some of the cast names that you might hear a lot more often, much like the way DAZED AND CONFUSED brought us no name actors like Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, and Matthew McConaughey. Glen Powell as Finnegan particularly steps into his role with humorous, charismatic ease, nearly stealing every scene he is in.
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is ‘R’ rated for language, drug use, and some unnecessary nudity. While some of these elements might be relevant to fully capture the time and place, I think the line is crossed to gratuitous. However, this isn’t a drug-induced, hate-filled assault on humanity but rather a happy, loving environment whose characters are ultimately funny, likable and downright fun. It’s a shame that the mostly male driven story leaves little room for an interesting female perspective, which is probably the weakest part of the film. But much like BOYHOOD and the BEFORE trilogy, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is further proof that Richard Linklater captures life’s moments and characters in time better than anyone. Only the future will tell, but I suspect EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! will have classic longevity among college campuses for years to come.