by Damian Giampietro
Brotherhood, baseball and beer— and women, don’t forget the women.
The nostalgia seeping drama-comedy “Everybody Wants Some!!,” released April 8, matches its wit and slapstick humor with absorbing characters and a densely populated world that immediately transports viewers back to the early 1980s.
The cast is mostly unknown and fresh-faced yet so professional and believable that when the end credits begin to roll, some viewers might begin to think that the movie was a documentary.
The auteur director, Richard Linklater, director of the 1993 cult classic “Dazed and Confused,” focuses on characterization and dialogue to successfully push his dramatic arc forward rather than a series of events the protagonist must face.
The movie begins with a drive through the college town as Jake (Blake Jenner) makes way to the baseball team’s off-campus housing only a few days before the start of the term.
After arriving to the seemingly quiet house, the kitchen ceiling buckles under the weight of a water bed that a few of the teammates are installing upstairs and they yell at Jake to turn off the hose, as if he is supposed to know the routine.
Jake is then introduced to mostly everyone: the intimidating team leader, McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), a smart smooth talker, Finnegan (Glen Powell), a strange yet cool and self-aware smoker, Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), Jake’s country roommate who is always on the phone with his girlfriend back home, Billy Autrey (Will Brittain), plus many more well-made characters.
Some of the guys, including Jake, decide to cruise around and invite some girls to the team’s party.
After some success, the boys run into an amber-haired Beverly (Zoey Deutch) who denies their forward offer, claiming that she likes Jake, the quiet guy in the backseat.
The movie’s greatest achievement is its characterization, which turns these seemingly one-track minded jocks into weighty individuals with their own worries, questions and interests.
Jake and Finnegan, for example, talk about the team’s identity crisis due to being disco men the first night, being cowboys soon after, and then hanging out with the punk scene the following afternoon.
This is also seen when Jake and Willoughby, who are both pitchers, talk about how pitchers are weird because they stand on the mound all alone but they should not deny this fact, only accept their strangeness.
The dialogue is relatable and smart, whether the team is talking about partying, what classes should be taken, or even attempting to read each other’s mind while under the influence.
Not surprisingly, the cinematography is the unsung hero, mixing beautiful sun kissed scenery with the purposely lighting in bars and house parties, which makes a more realistic experience of 1980s college life.
“Everybody Wants Some!!” does not have a dramatic plot but viewers soon forget this by falling in love with this captivating world Linklater has created.
Whether it’s to be accepted, respected, feared, to party more, or to even find some love, “Everybody Wants Some!!” fulfills wants and needs because like Willoughby said, we are “here for a good time, not a long time.”