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‘Everybody wants some!!’

May 5, 2016

DILLON NELSON

Staff Reporter|djn0052@latech.edu

Annapurna Pictures

Annapurna Pictures

 

“Everybody Wants Some!!” is done in Richard  Linklater’s favorite style: a freewheeling collection of scenes drawn from a myriad of youthful experiences in his home state of Texas.

 

 

This film follows a fictional college baseball team in the days leading up to the beginning of class, as they take in all types of scenes ranging from punk to art.

 

 

As Jake, played by Blake Jenner, settles into his team’s house, Linklater introduces the team in a terrific opening scene. Jake’s teammates help him navigate the college social scene as they bounce from party to party.

 

 

Like “Dazed and Confused,” Linklater sets the tone by smoothly introducing each quirky character.

 

 

All of the teammates join in on the revelry, but several of them get philosophic asides and moments of insight to flesh them out as characters as they carry the film for much of its runtime.

 

 

This is a human touch which imbues them with depth during the hilarity. Even over-the-top weirdos like self-proclaimed “raw dog” Niles, played by Juston Street, are treated by Linklater as realistic characters and not total caricatures.

 

 

Everyone is vying to establish unique identities in college, and the brisk pace translates this exciting, chaotic atmosphere to a tee.

 

 

“Dazed and Confused” captured the essence of high school while “Everybody Wants Some!!” hilariously portrays the rush of the first days of college.

 

 

One of the themes of the film is the question of the authenticity of the college experience. The tightly-edited pace and on-screen timer add to the rush of the film but also add a sense of urgency to the team’s partying.

 

 

Jake poses this question several times throughout the film, and though he can party with the rest of them, Jake is more ambitious than his teammates.

 

 

He is one of the few teammates to take the choice of his major seriously, and it is clear he wants to achieve some level of purpose outside of baseball while in college.

 

 

Another testament to Jake’s maturity is his relationship with theater-dance major Beverly, played by Zoey Deutch.

 

This love story is a slow build in the background of this rollicking film, but it is given its satisfying due in the last act when they finally get the chance to interact.

 

 

Like Celine and Jesse of Linklater’s “Before Trilogy,” the pair’s relationship builds through a courtship of endearing, naturalistic conversations. If the preceding time with the team was the heart of “Everybody Wants Some!!,” then their relationship is the meaningful soul. I could easily see Linklater checking in on this couple in a future project.

 

 

The slower pace of the last section of “Everybody Wants Some!!” is a definite shift into seriousness, but the feel-good tone never wavers. Containing some of Linklaters tightest comedy and a tender romance, this film is more than a worthy spiritual successor to “Dazed and Confused.” It also stands on its own as another innovative work of art by a director who any film-lover should have strong faith in by now.

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