Today I got my vintage movie on and did a bit of a 70s double header. I saw my favorite director Richard Linklater’s new movie Everybody Wants Some and the Mormon musical Saturday’s Warrior. My Warrior review will be on my other blog http://smilingldsgirl.com/2016/04/04/saturdays-warrior-review/. It probably goes without saying that Everybody Wants Some was the stronger of the two films but they are very different so tough to compare.
Everybody Wants Some is billed as the ‘spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused’. If you haven’t seen Dazed it is set in 1976 and follows a group of high school students on their last day of school. What makes it special is it feels so real. Linklater isn’t afraid to have mean characters or for things to be unfair at the same time they are also funny.
In Dazed you have everything from the cruel bullies to the star football player. Linklater is so great at writing dialogue and making things feel authentic to real life. Dazed and Confused is funny, sweet, sad and has one of the best soundtracks ever.
I’ve never heard of the concept of a ‘spiritual sequel’ but it does seem to fit Everybody Wants Some. Instead of high school students, here we get college students in 1980-something and just like Dazed we follow them around for a weekend. This wouldn’t work if Linklater wasn’t such a master at what he does.
I wrote on twitter after I saw the film “I liked spending time with these guys” and that’s how I felt. They are losers, jerks, friends, party-animals and everything else. That’s what makes them feel like real people.
Coming out of the screening they were asking for feedback and one man said ‘it was slow’. This is the problem some people have with Linklater’s ‘day in the life’ kind of movies. Some people want more plot. I actually think that is what makes his movies special but it’s not for everyone.
Everybody Wants Some is perhaps more relatable than Boyhood but it also has less emotional heft to it (I’m a huge Boyhood fan). It feels lighter and a little bit nicer than Dazed and Confused and I’m kind of still processing whether that makes it better or worse. Either way, it is very enjoyable. I’ll repeat- I liked spending time with these guys.
The story revolves around Jake played by Blake Jenner who is a freshman baseball player who is moving in to the home shared by the rest of the championship baseball team. They are of course told by their coach to not party or have girls in their rooms, which they promptly disobey.
At the end of the film Jake is exhausted and can’t hardly get through his first class which is no surprise with the amount of stuff they pack into a weekend. It will make most of you wonder why your college life was so boring! But through all the shenanigans the boys felt real and authentic and even when they were being brats I still kind of liked them.
Tyler Hoechlin as Glen, Glen Powell as Finnegan and Quinton Johnson as Dale were 3 of my favorite of the boys but they were all good. Zoey Deutch was believable and great as Beverly a girl that catches Jake’s attention. Amidst all the chaos you totally get why he likes her and she likes him. That’s what makes Richard Linklater so great. I don’t know how he does it!
Like Dazed and Confused, the soundtrack to Everybody Wants Some is stellar. Needless to say I already have it on pre-order with amazon. Pat Benatar, Blondie, Jermaine Jackson, Van Halen, Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Devo etc. You also get to hear a variety of songs- disco, rock, country and even punk. All of this adds to the authentic feel of the film.
Everybody Wants Some is not for everyone. It is a hard R with a lot of profanity, vulgar dialogue, sensuality, brief nudity and drug use. If I wasn’t so in love with Linklater’s characters and writing it would probably be too much for me if I’m honest.
However, if you can handle the content and the pacing than you are in for a treat. Is it as good as Dazed and Confused? Ask me in a couple weeks but for now I’m just happy I saw it and enjoyed a slice of life in the 1980.
If any of you see Everybody Wants Some let me know what you think. Are you a fan of Richard Linklater’s films? What is your favorite? Mine is still Boyhood but I love the Before trilogy as well. He just nails it every time.
Overall Grade- A
My youtube review