For someone who missed the crazy hairstyles, questionable fashion choices and of course a large amount of sexual activity in the colleges of America during the 80s, Everybody Wants Some!! is clearly a love letter to such a period. It’s loud, it’s humourous and very much a caricature in a sense – but it’s undoubtedly fun to watch, even if it isn’t as intellectually profound as Richard Linklater’s other films.
Set in the fall of 1980 Texas, college freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) joins the Southeast Texas Cherokees baseball team as a hotshot pitcher straight out of high school and ready to be hit by the college lifestyle. His team includes a large cast of characters staying in a university leased dorm house with each man more boisterous than the last. We follow the interactions of the team from freshman initiation traditions to their wild antics in search of promiscuous females. If you’ve come here to watch a baseball flick, you’ve come to the wrong place.
As hinted in the title of the film, this film is about sex. Don’t underestimate me when I say the film features a large amount of sexual activity; everybody in this film wants some. Whilst this might discourage certain viewers who desire films with a larger gravitas of substance, you can’t help but enjoy their adventures for sexual domination. It’s the 80s. It’s a college atmosphere. Sex is on everybody’s mind and that’s what makes it so fun. There’s no real seriousness in the film other than a few brief moments and the film essentially wants to work like a party. If it hadn’t, the Beastie boys desperate efforts to defend mankind’s rights to party would have all been in vain.
Furthermore, I really enjoyed the interactions between all of the characters living on campus, especially within the dynamics of the team. If you can’t fall in love with their intentions to go out and have sex every night, you can at least appreciate the way Linklater writes their synergy in a way that’s realistic and hilarious. You have every sense that this is how a testosterone-fuelled college baseball team would interact. I even related to a couple of the character’s attributes’ which resembled those of my own friends. Coupled with a fantastic 80’s soundtrack, colorful costuming and retro set design; it’s a joy to watch.
The only real problem with the film stems from its positives strangely. It works well as a fun film with riveting dialogue but other than that it doesn’t provide much substance. When I say it resembles a party it really is a party. A buildup of anticipation and preparation; an ongoing drunken and ecstatic nightlife; then the relaxed after party where the deep and meaningful conversation with a person you’ve never met before ensues. When the substance comes, it does so very well but it’s gone as quickly as it arrived. But hey, it was one heck of a party right?
Everybody Wants Some!! is being called a spiritual successor to Linklater’s other film Dazed and Confused but realistically it’s more of a joyous sequel rather than a successor. At just under 2 hours long, it does feel slightly long for a film that’s essentially more about the college lifestyle rather than baseball and studying anything in particular. Thankfully, its writing holds it together and it makes the overall affair quite a fun one to enjoy. If you want to have a laugh, have intrinsic conversations with stoners, get drunk and dance wild to 80s music, you’ll love Everybody Wants Some!!.