EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
By Gary “Me Too!” Murray
Starring Blake Jenner, Juston Street and Ryan Guzman
Written and directed by Richard Linklater
Running time 117 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating Matinee
Way back in the 1980s, there were multitudes of R rated comedies. Caddyshack, Porky’s and Stripes all came from the early part of that decade. They were all made for an adult audience and drew in millions at the box office. This was back in the day when the box office numbers were for ‘industry only’ and didn’t make national network news.
They also set the tone for comedies in that decade. In the first part of the 21st Century, film has been going back to his R rated formula with such works as Dead Pool and Tropic Thunder. Both proved that R rated comedies could bring in a big audience. It is with that idea that Everybody Wants Some!! comes into being. It is homage to the early 1980s in both tone and substance.
The movie opens with “My Sharona” playing on the tape deck as Jake (Blake Jenner) pulls into his new life, college in central Texas. He is assigned a house with a portion of the baseball team. Jake is the new pitcher, a high school standout, but finds that he is just another member of an outstanding team.
The film centers on the weekend before the first day of college. We get the quick meet of most of the members of the house and the rest of the baseball team. Most of the guys are fielders who do not like pitchers and all the guys are into hazing the fish. In this way, the film feels like Linklater’s much praised Dazed and Confused.
The three days are filled with the guys bonding and checking out different women. In this way, the film feels like Linklater’s much praised Dazed and Confused. This is not the sequel to that film but it does keep many of the same senses and vibes. It is not a sequel and it is not an equal. No, it does not have the same cast. But, all women but one are treated as objects to conquer for a night and not a character.
Anyway, Jake sees another freshman Beverly (Zoey Deutch) and the two are mutually attracted to one another. But before we get to the romance, there has to be male bonding over beer and boobs. Every night, these guys go drinking at different clubs from discos to country joints. They always adapt to every situation because everyone loves the baseball team. The place overflows with young female flesh. The guys are winners and have brought championships to the school. There is also a rachis party along the lines of something out of Animal House.
We also get to see the guys practicing without coaches due to collegiate rules. One of the guys is a transfer from Detroit and possesses a 95 mph fastball. He brags about being recruited by the majors and is, in two words, very insane.
Looking for a plot? Well, you won’t find one here. Like Slacker and Before Sunrise it is more about a time and a place than a story. There are funny moments and crazy characters but little in any kind of account of events. In that way, it feels exactly like Dazed and Confused. Also like the afore-mentioned flick, the film is chocked with sweet looking classic rides. No one goes to college in a hand-me-down auto.
This is a very large cast, with many speaking roles, so it makes it very hard to shine above the rest. Blake Jenner is the fish out of water, the only san person in a house full of lunatics. One gets the feeling that by year’s end, he will be the new leader of the team and guiding the boys to yet another championship. One also gets the idea that by the end of the term, he will be the head instigator of hazing for the next generation of freshman ball players.
Many years ago, everyone was just crazy for Lea Thompson, the girl from Back to the Future. Zoey Deutch is her daughter as just as pretty and just as talented. Every moment she is on screen, the film gets a shade lighter. By the end, everyone wishes Zoey would have played a more central role that just the desired female. There is much promise in her charming acting.
In the secondary cast of baseball players Glen Powell is a true standout. He delivers the greatest share of the funny lines and brings a much needed humanity to the group. His character is a player in every sense of the word but he is also a lot smarter than he lets on. This is not just another dumb jock.
Truly, the single best part of the film is the soundtrack. It just leaps off the screen from songs from the late 1970s. It has The Knack, Dire Straits and Devo mixed into the fabric of the film. It is probably the best soundtrack of 2016 and will make just about every person dance in the isles.
Everybody Wants Some!! is a baseball movie like The Brea kfast Club is a high school movie. Both are set in the arenas but both are about something more—they are both about living in those times. But Everybody Wants Some!! is no The Brea kfast Club. Richard Linklater written films have never been about something, meaning that they have never had much of a plot. He does much better plot-wise by directing scripts from another. But what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in sheer attitude. It is not Boyhood, his most personal film but it is probably one of his more honest films about his own life.