Everybody Wants Some Movie Review
From the director of Boyhood comes a movie that is approximately four hours shorter and 100x more entertaining: Everybody Wants Some, a “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 classic Dazed and Confused. Which pretty much means that the movie has none of the same characters or actors, but is about boys being boys (i.e. doing dumb stuff and trying to get laid).
Set in the 1980’s in the three days leading up to the start of college, Everybody Wants Some follows a household of baseball players--specifically Jake (Blake Jenner), a freshman--as they party, drink and drink some more.
That’s pretty much the entire plot of the movie, though Everybody Wants Some is not your typical teen comedy. Linklater is a superb writer (he’s responsible for arguably the greatest trilogy of films no one has ever heard of, which relies entirely on dialogue and two actors) and though the movie is pretty lighthearted, it operates on a different plane from the multitudes of forgettable teen/college comedies and even timeless classics such as Animal House.
That’s not to say it’s better or worse--it’s just different, in tone, in style, in acting approach, in dialogue. It’s a more mature kind of college comedy even though none of the characters found within are particularly mature. Even with its exaggerated characters it feels more grounded, fresh and relatable, the personalities of each individual student well developed and thought out.
But who really cares about that, right? Most importantly, Everybody Wants Some is funny--not always, but almost always--and largely entertaining from beginning to end.
Its shortcomings tie into its strengths--Linklater set out to make a different kind of college comedy, but the movie works best as a lighthearted romp. When his characters start speaking about heavier things or more sophisticated things, the dialogue begins to feel false and drawn out. At almost two hours, it’s 15 minutes too long--there are a few stretches, such as the baseball practice sequence, that drag in comparison to the rest of the film. Some tightening would have gone a long way.
Paradoxically, the budding relationship between Jake and Beverly (Zoey Deutch) feels underdeveloped; Linklater thankfully didn’t make a movie that focuses too heavily on a new relationship (how cliché), but he doesn’t do enough to overcome the not-terrific chemistry between the two actors to convince us that there is real potential between them. Arguably, Everybody Wants Some would have benefited more had Linklater shown even less of the two together, keeping Beverly as merely a girl Jake went to a party with rather than someone that requires more fleshing out.
Everybody Wants Some is a well made and well written comedy that deserves to be seen, even if it had potential to be even better.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.