Directed by Richard Linklater. Starring Blake Jenner, Juston Street, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell.
THE PLOT: Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives at college in September 1980, the weekend before classes start. For the last three days of his summer freedom, Jake spends his time getting to know his housemates and fellow baseball team members, trying out almost every bar in town, and figuring out the best way to approach a girl he has a crush on.
THE VERDICT: According to writer director Richard Linklater, ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is not only a follow up to his 1993 film ‘Dazed and Confused’ – which takes place in a high school – but a follow up to his hugely successful film ‘Boyhood’, since that film ends with the title character heading off to college. Whatever the case, ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is a nostalgic celebration of those last days of summer, with a kick ass soundtrack, but not a lot happening in terms of story.
Richard Linklater populated his cast of college kids with Blake Jenner, Juston Street, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, Temple Baker, J. Quinton Johnson, Will Brittain and Zoey Deutch as the only notable female character in the film. All of the cast do well with their roles, making these superficially smart kids obviously lacking in real world experience as they spout Walt Whitman and Carl Sagan quotes at one another, smoke weed and get themselves thrown out of bars. The trouble is that the script never develops any of the characters properly, does not give the film an over arching narrative and, since the film takes place in a short space of time, never allows any of them to change or grow; they are arrogant at the start and, on the first day of class, little has changed.
Richard Linklater’s screenplay for the film seems to have been less of a script than a loosely structured story idea and this is the film’s major failing. So many of the characters have throwaway moments that could have become the main narrative of the film, but this is never allowed to happen. Instead, we drift through one drunken weekend with a bunch of sexist, misogynistic and often idiotic college students – most of whom are male – and although it is engaging to spend time with them to begin with, the film runs out of steam when it becomes obvious that the main narrative of the film is get drunk and party all night. As well as this, there are very few female characters in the film; Zoey Deutsch as Beverley gets a couple of good moments, but the rest of the women seem simply to be set dressing, there to be seduced and discarded.
As director Richard Linklater obviously has fun being in the nostalgic world of 1980s American colleges, and although there are times when the film touches on deeper issues, these are quickly discarded. The pacing is fine – each of the three days passes fairly quickly – but without a reason to spend time with these college kids, all the great music, 80s dancing and strong costumes cannot make the film as engaging as it should be.
In all, it is fun to spend time with the college age kids at the heart of ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ but there are anachronistic turns of phrase that feel wrong, the cast are never given a chance to develop their characters and the narrative arc of the film is missing. On the positive side, the characters feel real and it is fun to spend time in their world, but they would have benefitted from having a strong narrative arc to work with.
Review by Brogen Hayes

Everybody Wants Some!!
Review by Brogen Hayes
3.0Weak on story
  • filmbuff2011

    With a title taken from a 1980 Van Halen song, Richard Linklater’s latest film Everybody Wants Some!! sees the Austin, Texas-based director return to the kind of laid-back, nostalgic filmmaking that made his name with Slacker and Dazed And Confused.

    It’s 1980 and Jake (Blake Jenner) is a baseball pitcher arriving at his new college. With just over 3 days to go until classes start, this is a chance to get to know his new buddies and enjoy one last wild weekend before he has to knuckle down and get on with the actual business of studying. He moves into the house where the baseball team is staying, which includes McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), Roper (Ryan Guzman), Plummer (Temple Baker), wild card Jay (Juston Street) and stoner Willoughby (Wyatt Russell). Their coach gives them two simple rules: no alcohol in the house and no girls upstairs. It’s not long before these rules are broken, as this rowdy but likeable bunch soon go from one party and disco to another. When not getting pranked by his buddies, Jake finds time to spark up some flirtations with theatre student Beverly (Zoey Deutch)…

    Given that Linklater was 20 in 1980, it’s not too hard to imagine that his script is inspired by his own experiences. He’s described it as a spiritual sequel to Dazed And Confused and Boyhood, in that the story picks up with a young man leaving home, going to college and meeting a girl. Everybody Wants Some!! shouldn’t be taken as seriously as Boyhood though. For this film sees Linklater kicking back his shoes, tipping back his cowboy hat and instead delivering a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s frequenly hilarious and very well-written with characters that are so much more than standard college fratboy archetypes.

    Part of the charm of the story is down to the fact that Jake isn’t the odd-one-out or even the sensible guy. He fits in straight away, though he’s labelled as ‘the quiet one’ by Beverly. When he’s not charming the ladies, he’s partying hard with the guys in a succession of unlikely places, like a country & western bar, a punk bar and then Beverly’s arty party. As the time ticks down to the start of the lessons, he’s already finding some direction as to where he’s going with his life.

    Well-acted by a young, mostly unknown cast, Everybody Wants Some!! captures that wonderful last days of summer feel before going back to school, except from a college perspective this time. The baseball team are a noisy but good-natured bunch, which makes our time with them all too short. This reviewer could easily have hung out with these amiable, slacker-type characters for another hour and not felt that the film was too long. A worthy successor to Dazed And Confused, Everybody Wants Some!! is a film that everybody should want to see. Check out that natty period detail too, which is captured in all its glittery 80s excess. Few directors can capture the exuberance of youth quite like Linklater. He hits it out of the park again. Stay for the end credits for an extra treat. ****

  • emerb

    “Everybody Wants Some!!” is the latest movie from Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”, “Dazed and Confused”). It’s a relaxed, funny and very enjoyable movie about male bonding and the weekend shenanigans that transpire on a Texas college campus in August 1980 just before the school’s rowdy baseball team returns after the holidays. There’s a relaxed, lazy, late-summer vibe in the air, the students are up for some fun and music is everywhere.

    For a movie about college and baseball, “Everybody Wants Some!!” features little of either. It covers the three-day weekend leading up to the first day of classes when the students bond again after a long summer and make new friendships and loves that they will never forget. Most of the story is experienced from the point of view of Jake (Blake Jenner), a confident but quiet baseball player, who is arriving at a Southeast Texas University in September 1980 to live in a run-down baseball house with his teammates. His new mates range from drawling innocent Billy Autrey (Will Brittain) to mustache-wearing weirdo Jay Niles (Juston Street) to friendly stoner Willoughby (Wyatt Russell). One of the main
    characters is wannabe philosopher Finnegan (Glen Powell), who chatters endlessly about the meaning of life. The film counts down to the first day, and that ticking clock gives us the structure of the film which is centred around a series of parties and club visits, with the music constantly shifting from disco to punk to metal to country. In one weekend, the teammates find themselves at a disco, a lively country dance bar, a classy theatre party and a wild punk-rock club. They enjoy drinking (lots!), smoking (even more!), chasing women and dancing all night but it’s just harmless fun and I found their playful banter to be surprisingly endearing and funny. Linklater introduces us to a very likable ensemble cast of blokes during a short but pivotal period in their lives. Each character has a distinct personality and story thread. Blake Jenner is the perfect choice for the charismatic, fresh-faced, pretty boy who arrives at the start but for me, it’s Glen Powell who gives the best performance as Finnegan, a loquacious Lothario who dazzles the ladies with his oily charm and well-practiced moves. At first you just think he’s irritating, but as the weekend rolls on, you start to believe he might be the smartest and most pragmatic one of the bunch. Wyatt Russell also makes a strong showing as Willoughby, a freshman pitcher who waffles about philosophy while high on marijuana. For the most part, the women don’t
    feature except through the eyes of the men. However, towards the end we get to know Zoey Deutch’s Beverly, a performing arts major who catches Jake’s attention and introduces him to a whole other side of the campus. Jake and Beverly connect in a sweet romance and I’d like if this romance had been developed more from the outset as I thought it worked well and the chemistry between the two was believable. Linklater’s decision to cast talented unknowns gives the picture an extra dimension, we know nothing about their private lives but we are drawn to them and happy to be in their company for the duration of the story.

    “Everybody Wants Some!!” is a charming delight, a classic that is well up there with the best from this director. From the lively music of the time, to the macho-bonding of the young jocks, to the lure of slightly older women, to the vibrant energy of the 19-year-old away from home for the first time, this is a real crowd
    pleaser. Though it’s a very definite portrayal of student life in the 1980’s, it is also universal in its appeal, we can all relate to the obsession with alcohol, all-night parties and embracing every moment of college life. While at the start, we’re presented with a bunch of lads who only care about baseball and sex, by the end we feel that they have discovered more about music, love, new experiences and friendship. It’s deceptively simple and while events may only take place over one summer weekend, Linklater has taken these boys on a path of self-discovery as they move on in life and look towards the future. I loved this movie, it’s immensely satisfying, lighthearted and easygoing, a great American comedy that I will be sure to watch again.