Every now and again, you just need a movie that is just fun for the sake of being fun. Sure, without conflict there’s no drama, but man, sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax with a cold one and enjoy a nice fun movie. Back in my day (said the old man), we used to gather ’round the TV and VCR and watch Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” over and over and over and over again.
Twenty years later, with an Acacemy Award in his back pocket, Richard Linklater is taking us into the past — to 1980 — on another spiritual journey in “Everybody Wants Some!!” a fun and hilarious movie that feels very much in that feel-good vibes vein of “Dazed and Confused” but has all the nuances of a much more seasoned director, even if Linklater doesn’t let it get in the way of some silly fun.
What more could you ask for in a pre-summer movie? Here. We. Go! When you’re done, check out my interview with the stars of “Everybody Wants Some!!.”
This is a sequel to “Dazed and Confused”….I love that movie!
Don’t get too excited. I mean…get excited, it’s a great movie, and yes, it’s from the same director, Richard Linklater, but if you’re looking for a direct sequel to the cult 90s comedy hit about stoners in the 70s, you’re going to be disappointed. But don’t get too down, Rick (Linklater) calls this a “spiritual sequel…” to that film, so you’re kinda on the right track.
What the heck does spiritual sequel mean?
“Everybody Wants Some”, takes place in 1980, not quite the 80s yet…but not the 70s anymore. Our story takes us to Texas where we get to hang out with a college baseball team on the first weekend before classes begin. It’s all about these guys getting to know each other, realizing where they fit in as far as transitioning from high school to college or preparing for life after college. So, it’s spiritual sequel in the sense that you’re just kind of along for the ride with these guys as they basically just drink beer, go to clubs and try and hook up with girls for 3 days. Just instead of being high school football players…they’re college baseball players.
Okay, so it’s a baseball movie?
Not exactly. It’s about baseball players. But there is not rivalry, no big game, no motivational speeches. Well, there may be a few of those, but they ain’t about baseball. Life? Girls? Beer? Girls? Yeah, yeah…just not baseball-y speeches. In fact, there really is no prevailing conflict. They’re not getting kicked out of their house because they party too much, they don’t have to pass a test or risk being kicked out of school.
What’s the point if there is not conflict? Why am I hanging out with these guys for 3 days?
That’s kind of the beauty of this movie. It’s just kind of a laid back, fun, non-threatening movie. It’s funny, well-written and man there are some really talented and fun guys in this movie. Stuffing it with cardboard villains and cliched plot points only would have cheapened the good times feel of the flick. This film isn’t meant to challenge or preach about the way it was in 1980. It wants you to get some friends together, grab a beer and just kinda hang out for a bit.
I don’t recognize anyone in the cast. Who the heck is in this?
Did you really “know” anyone in “Dazed and Confused” when it came out? Affleck hadn’t even done “Mallrats” at the time. While “Everybody Wants Some” may have a cast of pretty much unknown actors, you’ll be getting to know plenty of them soon. Linklater has a knack for finding hidden gems of talent. It actually helps that these guys are off the radar talents, because it helps make the characters feel more real.
Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), has a hilarious role as an eccentric who teammates just can’t get a read on and Glen Powell plays bit of the Matthew McConaughey role. He’s kinda the wise sage of the team, always with a gem of wisdom or advice for the Freshman.
Linklater’s films always have such well-written, strong female leads…who shines here?
Oh. Okay. Minor disappointment. From the movies with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy to “Dazed” to Linklater’s Oscar wining “Boyhood”, the dude has always had strong females in his movies. Unfortunately here, there really isn’t room for anyone to be more than just a trope character. Zoey Deutch plays Beverly, the love interest for our main man Jake (Blake Jenner) our freshman protagonist. While she’s cute and delightful on screen, she doesn’t show up until about halfway through the movie and isn’t given much to do outside of being a touchstone cliche for Jake as his weekend progresses.
But, you liked it right?
Oh, hell yes. Absolutely. There are a lot of fun performances, but it really is a nice movie because you really just feel like you’re along for the ride with these guys for a weekend and you’re all just kinda getting to know each other. There’s no unnecessary drama, but there are some nice moments.
Final thoughts: If you’re looking for a light, laid back, fun movie that will make you laugh, make for a fun night out with friends or that special someone, I think you’ll dig “Everybody Wants Some!!” — especially if you hold a special place in your heart for the nostalgia of “Dazed and Confused”. If you’re looking for deeper meaning, conflict, drama, self-exploration, this just isn’t that kind of movie.
Release date: April 15, 2016
Written and directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Wyatt Russell, Quinton Johnson, and Glen Powell
Running time: 1 hr. 57 mins.
MPAA rating: R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity