Monday, April 25, 2016

[Review] Everybody Wants Some!!

The prolific but unhurried Richard Linklater follows up the admirable (but slightly overrated) Boyhood with a "spiritual sequel" to Dazed and Confused. Diving head-first into the 80s, Everybody Wants Some!! is a baseball movie that isn't a baseball movie. And it's a blast (!!)

1980 on the dot. A campus somewhere in Texas. It's the weekend before college classes officially start, and the film's freshman brotagonist Jake (Blake Jenner) moves into a house where the baseball team stays. Jake's fellow jocktastic baseballers are played by mainly unknown actors, and perhaps by design, most of them about 10 years older than the typical college age. Anyway, they all have similar objectives in mind: Party and Get Laid. The beginning packs an onslaught of trash 'stache froth, but these dudes really grow on us by the end.

Much like it's free-spirited characters, the plot meanders without much regard to being considered as a plot in the first place. But it isn't in a frustrating or lethargic way. Linklater's penchant for realistic, zeitgeist-driven dialogue is on display, and it's as snappy and humorously sleazy as ever here. The line-up of characters each have their own goofy quirks, and they emerge as humanized stereotypes. A bunch of funny scenes show them engaging in exactly what you'd expect them to engage in, or as Jake would call it, "Fuckwithery"--getting kicked out of bars for causing a raucous, locker room antics, and hazing (all subjects that have escalated significantly from lighthearted to problematic dangerous over time).

At the surface, it may seem like a usual frat party film, but it manages to wax philosophical on pride, identity and competition. And of course, it carries a heavily nostalgic vibe (and I'm not just talking about the jorts and tanktops). It's like a coming-of-age film, except with guys who are old enough to drink (or close enough). Everybody Wants Some!! doesn't embrace living in the moment--it suggests that that's the only thing you can do. One can cherish and hold onto the good times and glory days, but no matter the stage--there are stretches where fun stuff happens, proceeded by stretches where not-so-fun stuff happens, and so on. Life is full of stuff, man.


No comments:

Post a Comment