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Everybody Wants Some!! - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Everybody Wants Some!!
Directing: B+
Acting: B+
Writing: B
Cinematography: B
Editing: B

After a film as extraordinary as Boyhood (2014), Richard Linklater seems to be setting us all up for disappointment with Everybody Wants Some!! -- especially since the marketing makes it look like his 80s version of Dazed and Confused. This movie won't ever achieve that earlier film's cult favorite status, but it works better as a follow-up to Boyhood anyway. That little boy we saw grow up onscreen isn't anywhere to be seen here, but we did last see him off to college, and thematically, that's where Everybody Wants Some!! picks up: it takes place over the weekend immediately preceding the beginning of the school year at a Texas university.

Not that we see a whole lot of "coming of age," mind you. And this time around, there is no snap to the dialogue in the beginning, making you wonder for a while where this movie is going. It's not going anywhere far, really -- but after a while, slowly but surely, you find yourself deciding this movie is worth the time investment after all. Its depth sneaks up on you.

Broadly speaking, Linklater is simply offering a slice of life from a simpler time, albeit just before these kids are likely to lose a whole lot of their innocence. The year is 1980; many changes are coming, but for now, the lives of these people is pretty carefree. The central character is Jake (Blake Jenner), but only slightly so; he's one of a core ensemble cast of about a dozen baseball players, all of them the best on their teams at their high schools, now surrounded by people just as good as them. But their school has one of the nation's best college teams and they are very proud of it. Jake, though, is one of four incoming Freshmen, learning the ways of their new environment by immersion.

There's a lot of baseball talk. For a movie about baseball players, there's actually not that much baseball playing -- there's only one sequence once they finally have their first batting practice. There they learn about their teammates and about teamwork in new contexts. I'm not a sports person, so this movie may have taken a bit longer to grab me than it might some other people. But it did grab me, meaning Linklater manages to transcend the surface circumstances.

There is fun to be had, but Linklater, true to form, puts dialogue at the forefront. There's a lot of talking. Some of it, particularly in the beginning, is a little forgettable; never, however, is it boring. We take some time to get to know these young men -- and, in at least one case, a young woman: Jake's love interest (Zoey Deutch, emitting a vibe very much like a young Anna Kendrick). She comes and goes over the course of Jake and his new teammates' movement through several parties over these few days.

And they go to a pretty eclectic array of establishments: a dance club; a punk rock show; a country bar; a party of theatre geeks. At each of these places the characters have conversations that could never be easily had in the real world with all that noise. But the passing scenery is fun to watch, with the vast array of different hired extras in diverse costumes in all these scenes. In a way, this movie is just about settling in -- into a world free of youthful restrictions but new adult responsibilities. It's still college, though. There's plenty of sex and drugs to go around, although the only drug seen is marijuana.

A movie should always be judged solely on its own merits, but Everybody Wants Some!! does suffer a bit from its context. Linklater has made many a great movie since Dazed and Confused, and it would be natural, but a mistake, to expect the same general sensibility. There's some comedy here but it's not exactly a laugh riot. It's more of a pleasant amusement. There's certainly a nostalgia to it. I'm kind of at a loss as to the inclusion of two exclamation points in the title. It would probably be safer to say this movie is for fans of Richard Linklater rather than for fans of any particular one of his movies.

Temple Baker, Ryan Guzman and Blake Jenner make the pre-college party rounds in EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!

Overall: B+
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