Review: Everybody should want to see “Everybody Wants Some!!”

Scott Davis

In what’s being marketed as a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater’s latest is proof why is he one of the best working directors today with the entertaining, funny and smart Everybody Wants Some!!.

With a filmography consisting of Slacker, Before Sunrise, School of Rock, and Boyhood, Richard Linklater has proven to be both a durable and distinctive director. Most of his films feature a heavy emphasis on dialogue and characters, while not focusing so much on plot, rather character arcs and memorable moments.

Everybody Wants Some!! fits that mold perfectly. With characters that are simultaneously funny and relatable, a fun era to play with, and terrific acting from the young cast, it seems that we have the first truly great movie of 2016.   

Everybody Wants Some!! takes place in the summer of 1980 in the middle of Texas. Incoming freshman pitcher of the school’s baseball team, Jake (Blake Jenner), meets the rest of his teammates the weekend before classes start. The group of guys spend the weekend going to numerous parties, hanging out at the team’s house, dancing at clubs, and trying their luck with the ladies.

The film embraces the era it takes place as the soundtrack is constantly playing in the background reminding audiences where they are, and not to mention the look of the film. All of the characters rock 1980s garb with both their hairstyles and clothes.

This might seem alienating to some viewers, especially those who were not alive during the era, but the result is anything but. Linklater makes the era feel alive and inviting rather than inclusive. All of the parties, clubs and hangouts are fun and feature some 1980s nostalgia, but is never over the top in that aspect.

Another reason the film works so well is the incredibly talented young cast. Starring mostly unknown actors, the chemistry is through the roof with each of the members on the baseball team. In interviews the cast has said that they spent three weeks on Linklater’s ranch to get to know each other before filming the movie, and all of that can be seen on screen as the whole team feels like a real family hanging out in college.

The cast certainly deserves a majority of the praise for this movie, but a lot of praise needs to be given to writer and director Richard Linklater. The writing is top notch as Linklater shows his talent of not only writing fast, witty dialogue, but also philosophical moments that have depth, but do not come off as cheesy either. Every moment feels earned, even the scenes that feature hijinks and college kids letting loose, because of the time and care Linklater put into each of the characters. 

Everybody Wants Some!! features plenty of laughs, nostalgia, a great cast and an even better writing and directing job by Linklater. Where it ranks in his filmography is something that can only be determined over time, but there is no denying that this is film is a home run.