A college baseball fraternity welcomes new members in the fall of 1980.
After the triumph of Boyhood, Richard Linklater eases into a different gear for this comedy set at a Texas university.
Everybody Wants Some!! is more of a comedy than most of the director’s previous work and while its pitched as a companion piece to 1993s Dazed and Confused, it’s really a much lighter and more openly entertaining affair.
And that’s just fine because Linklater’s own script is a breezy number with peaks of zinging dialogue, all brought off by a fine ensemble of young players sporting some excellent period specific head and facial hair.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the plot is thin, with the audience falling in alongside new freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) as he is introduced to a world where he and his fellow baseball players are all-conquering kings of the social sphere.
There are parties and night clubs and conquests and (eventually) some actual baseball. There’s also a Girl (capital intended) played by Zoey Deutch who isn’t as prevalent as you might imagine from the poster.
There’s a comedic vein that often borders on the hilarious without ever being mistaken for mainstream. Mostly the film is about talking and you’ll find scenes dealing with machismo fuelled silliness as often as youthful cod-philosophy.
It’s all incredibly amiable stuff, especially thanks to some marvellous performances. Glen Powell’s Finnegan is certainly a highlight but everyone works brilliantly both on their own merits and part of the ensemble.
One of the best elements is that these jocks aren’t merely joking and cussing and slapping stereotypes but varied and strange characters. And they’re also smart and have something to say, beyond the constant drive to get laid.
Everybody Wants Some!! is unmistakably Linklater-lite; making it a little basic for committed fans of the director and a tad too loose for those looking for mainstream giggles but it still comes highly recommended.