Everybody Wants Some!! is a free-flowing, testosterone-fueled display of college life. Booze is consumed, girls are admired, and country/punk/disco music is blasted as the last few days of summer wind down, and the guys on the baseball team are enjoying every second they have left before they have to sleep their way through classes again. Originally conceived of as covering the entire freshman year, the film narrows its scope to several days, yet still manages to encapsulate what feels like an entire college experience.
Simply put, this movie is so much fun. I won’t touch on every individual in the cast, but they certainly all have their standout moments; one isn’t more important than another, as the film makes clear several times with its talk about team sports. They may all be extremely competitive– throwing fits after losing ping pong games or giving up a home run during batting practice or storming off after losing a knuckle flicking contest–but that’s part of what it means to be an athlete. It’s part of it what it means to be a person and what it means to be part of a team, to be part of something that allows you to embrace who you are in all its asshole-ish glory. And that’s really what the film is all about: the idea that growing up is a universal process and that college is a place to find yourself. That may sound like the front cover of any college brochure, but Linklater makes it feel real. Whether he’s focusing on the wild party nights or baseball practices or philosophical musings while high, his dialogue and Sandra Adair’s editing keep things moving. When Zoey Deutch’s Beverly shows up and strikes up a romance with Blake Jenner’s Jake, Linklater once again brings out his witty, flirtatious conversations; these are types of conversations I usually am unable to have, but I love listening to them here.
Throughout, the film is able to strike some lovely chords, moving deeper than the parties themselves and striking at what it means to be enjoying those parties. “It’s adaptive,” a character mentions midway through the film, and that adaptation is what we’re seeing in these characters’ storylines. These are people I’d probably never hang out with in real life, but they sure are enjoyable to watch.
Q&A: There was a Q&A after the film with Richard Linklater and four of the actors. Typical Q&A stuff, but Linklater said what should be the Linklater tagline: “Plot is a human construct…I’m trying to create something that feels like life, like how we process the world. There’s no plot in life.” Also, I got to talk to him for a few moments after the show. Such a cool moment.
Photo credits: Everybody Wants Some!!, Annapurna Pictures
sandra adair editing