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Review - Everybody Wants Some

By midlandsmovies, Sep 18 2016 08:58AM

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) Dir. Richard Linklater

Written by and directed by Richard “Boyhood” Linklater, my loathing of that film against almost everyone else was clear to see back in my review here. However, this warm sports comedy film about college baseball players in 1980 goes a long way on improving the meandering nonsense of his one-trick previous film based around the same theme of adolescence.

The story sees Texas college freshman & hotshot pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) moving into a jock-filled house of fellow athletes as they talk crudely and cruise tenaciously in their rush to get with female students. With the coach banning women and alcohol, they immediately disregard his commands and set about engaging with both as much as they can.

With a phenomenal soundtrack the film has a great sense of time and place with shaggy hair, bell bottoms and bad facial hair all playing their part as the group hops from bar to bar. From Disco halls to house parties via Country and Western clubs and punk gigs, music in all its form is very much at the forefront of the film. The immediate comparison is with Linklater’s earlier film Dazed & Confused with its similar group of college hound-dogs from the 70s. However, the love for music touches upon School of Rock (yes, Linklater did that too folks) with pop hits reminding protagonists of crazy summer times all but long gone.

From “striking out” with girls to smoking pot, the film follows Jakes’ adventures in a testosterone filled environment. None more so with McReynolds (played brilliantly by Tyler Hoechlin) who is the team's captain and best player and also the most competitive of the gang. Fighting and confrontational but also a team player, Hoechlin brings a simple bawdy character to life with a degree of intimacy and intelligence other movies would avoid.

As Jake’s acceptance into the team grows, he remembers the apartment number of a girl he meets on his first day and eventually calms his horny hedonism by approaching Beverly (Zoey Deutch) – a performing arts student. Their chats are more natural and believable than anything seen in the boring Boyhood.

Avoiding clichés, Everybody Wants Some blurs the lines of the traditional jock stereotype. Whilst plenty of time is given to their competitiveness, the film deconstructs this – sometimes in dialogue spouted by the characters themselves. Also, the discussions on art, family and each others’ backgrounds adds depth to a slim narrative but these changes are crucial to show a new perspective within somewhat familiar film territory.

The film also cleverly loops around and essentially concludes as the school semester starts with some lessons learnt but mostly – like the characters – we simply enjoy the self-indulgent pleasure of the moment, worrying about consequences and their significance much later.

At the core is a spirited story of male-centred affection and despite the burliness and muscle-flexing bravado shown by the physical players, Linklater has created a film with much more soul than you would imagine. Their passion for pleasure meets their passion on the field but Linklater avoids gross-out humour in favour of a much kinder film with funny dialogue, great characters and a heck of a lot of heart. A summer home run.


Midlands Movies Mike

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