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It’s no “Dazed and Confused,” but Richard Linklater’s collegiate comedy “Everybody Wants Some!!” is a two-exclamation-point romp.
The Oscar-nominated Linklater (“Boyhood”), a master of mood and capturing a moment, sure knows his way around a 1980-set college campus. There, the students – all University of Texas baseball players – spend the last three days and 15 hours of summer vacation getting high, chasing women, hosting parties, playing Space Invaders and drinking an insane amount of beer.
By the time Linklater’s camera pulls back from its final – and oh-so-fulfilling scene – you’ll be left to mourn for your undergrad days when wake-and-bake was a legit thing, “My Sharona” ruled the radio and keg stands were an individual sport. If only time could be turned back. But it can’t, so off we go into Linklater’s evocative timecapsule for a trip that rivals “Animal House.” Yes, it’s that good. But instead of a frat house, the epicenter of debauchery is an off-campus baseball house full of charismatic roomies.
Main character Jake (Blake Jenner) is the feathered-hair freshman pitcher through whom the story unfolds. The central drama, if there is any, is his coming of age and how much partying and team bonding can be squeezed out of 72 hours. Linklater fills out his roster with a cast of mostly fun-to-party-with newcomers. There’s the always-up-for-a-challenge Nesbit (Austin Amelio); the stoned transfer student Willoughby (Wyatt – son of Kurt – Russell, a scene stealer); the-motormouth-philosopher Finnegan (Glenn Powell); the redneck freshman Billy Autrey (Will Brittain); freshman catcher Plummer (Temple Baker); voice-of-reason Dale Douglas (J. Quinton Johnson); and upper-class captains, McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin, a deadringer for Oscar Isaac) and the tempestuous Jay Niles (Juston Street, son of UT baseball great James Street). Zoey Deutch plays the object of Jake’s affections.
The characters relentlessly tease and tool on one another, be it blocking someone from scoring, not on the baseball diamond, but with a girl, or playing an intense game of knuckle-flicking. The bro quotient is high, if you can’t stand that, then this isn’t for you.
The music takes on a life of its own. The soundtrack is full of late ’70s and early ’80s gems such as Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” Foreigner’s “Urgent,” George Clinton’s “We Want the Funk,” Devo’s “Whip It,” to name a few.
In between all the hook ups and hijinks and “Bang Bang Boogie,” Linklater slyly slips in a nod to living in the moment. The “Some” in the title, might not be pot, sex or booze, it could be freedom – from the responsibility of adulthood. Or maybe that’s too deep, and it’s simply a shout-out to the 1980 Van Halen song of the same name. Either way. I’m in.
— Dana Barbuto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @dbarbuto_Ledger.
Everybody Wants Some!!
Cast: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Quinton Johnson, Juston Street, Tanner Kalina, Austin Amelio, Temple Baker.
(R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity.)
Movie review: ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ captures the moment
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