Starring: Blake Jenner, Glen Powell, Zoey Deutch
Directed by: Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
Written by: Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
On the heels of the Academy Award-winning masterpiece “Boyhood,” Austin-based writer-director Richard Linklater ventures back to his roots, crafting a spiritual sequel to his breakout film “Dazed and Confused” in “Everybody Wants Some!!,” a Lone Star Beer-soaked Texas hangout shot in and around Austin, Texas with a gaggle of 1980s baseball bros over a long weekend before the start of a new college semester.
The plot, which there isn’t much of, kicks off when freshman pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives at the shared off-campus home of the Southeast Texas University baseball team, a group of fun-loving, prank-playing, beer-drinking guys out to get as drunk and as laid as they can. Over the course of the weekend before classes start, the guys, well, have fun, play pranks, drink beer, and get laid. They disco dance, kick to “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” and invade a theater party. Meanwhile, Jake falls for Beverly (Zoey Deutch, a much-needed female presence in a sea of dudes), an artsy girl that doesn’t give in to hormones and beer like the rest of the girls that orbit around the STU baseball team.
Where “Boyhood” overcame its gimmicky-on-paper premise to tell a story of how parents grow with their children in an engrossing, easy, almost three-hour run time, “Everybody Wants Some!!” wears its shagginess on its baseball shirt quarter sleeve, unashamed of running just under two hours with not a whole lot going on, for better or worse. Linklater makes no apologies for wanting to hang out with these characters – particular standouts being Glen Powell’s wiseacre ladies’ man Finnegan, Wyatt Russell’s stoner shaman Willoughby, and Temple Baker’s dimwitted Plummer – through the eyes of Jake. A bit of claustrophobia sets in from time to time, though, since we only spend time with one like-minded group of people – a bunch of good looking jocks – instead of bouncing between the different social stratum (and genders) that have made up any high school since the beginning of time as “Dazed and Confused” pulled off brilliantly. These guys are fun to party with, sure, but where’s the shy nerd’s point of view? And where are the girls? Asking for a friend.