Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
Directed by Richard Linklater • Written by Richard Linklater
With Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell and Glen Powell.
Everybody Wants Some!! introduces us to Jake (Blake Jenner), a carefree college baseball freshman in 1980 sharing lodgings with his team-mates in the days leading up to the beginning of term training and studies. From writer-director Richard Linklater, the film is an unapologetic ode to good times, establishing a raw energy with a scene-setting dose of immature camaraderie as we meet a mad-house over-spilling with testosterone and lust for life.
Linklater’s films often have a formless quality that defy the structure of set plot points. It makes him one of the more interesting American film-makers of his generation, as he seeks to create a homely sense amid an easy-flowing 1970’s indie approach, while dipping his toe into the mainstream by playing us a mix-tape of his favourite records. Everybody Wants Some!! is exactly that film.
There’s an easy simplicity to the structure, which flows organically between scenes, maintaining good vibes as the characters embrace their time. While Blake Jenner’s role (and his blindingly white teeth) is most central, he’s surrounded by a host of enjoyable performances; Glen Powell as the cocksure ladies man, Will Brittain as the unfashionable out-of-towner, Wyatt Russell as the obligatory pot-smoking philosopher…to name but a few.
In some way, Linklater has made an 80’s film that precedes the petulant brat-packs and synth-based power pop of the decade. There’s a diluted boy/girl romance that sits on top of the interchanging bromance that simmers under the surface of the entire piece. Everybody Wants Some!! is a comedy-drama that isn’t front-loaded with jokes or pivotal dramatic moments, nor does it pretend to be anything other than a depiction of young(ish) people having the best time of their lives. Your enjoyment fully rests on how much you’re willing to let it be.