Richard Linklater returns to his Dazed and Confused form with another lighthearted, supremely enjoyable tale of youth - Everybody Wants Some. The story takes place in the three days before classes start at Southeast Texas University in the fall of 1980. Blake Jenner stars as Jake, an incoming freshman with a scholarship to pitch for the baseball team. The team is given two houses off campus because of overcrowding in the dorms. There are only two rules, no alcohol, and definitely no girls allowed in the upstairs rooms.
Jake, a somewhat reserved and sensitive guy, moves in with his boisterous and extremely competitive teammates. There is the alpha male, team leader, confident senior who despises losing at anything - McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin). Then we have the smooth-talking, ladies-man philosopher - Finnegan (Glen Powell), and the most entertaining, stoner buddy extraordinaire - Willoughby (Wyatt Russell). The team hazes the freshmen somewhat, but are pretty much good guys looking for good times. They spend days goofing off with crazy antics, and nights looking for girls at campus parties. Jake settles into the partying groove, but can't get his mind off Beverly (Zoey Deutch), a sweet theatre major with a head full of dreams.
Everybody Wants Some is a story of college boys going girl crazy, but it is not Animal House or some tawdry eighties frat film. Yes, it has the nudity and drinking games, but also an endearing sweetness about a special time in life. It's a tale of being a grownup for the first time, the college experience, away from home, but not yet thrown into the hectic real world. The baseball team members aren't cookie cutter jocks. Linklater fleshes out genuine personalities with the characters. As Jake settles into college life, he gains friendships and discovers a tender love that will have your heart swooning.
Linklater is an absolute master of casual observation. His directing style is so relaxed and easygoing. Scene after scene plays out with no hurry or forced issues. There's no serious drama or left field plot arcs in this film. We see the guys being themselves, breezily flowing through life. I laughed hysterically watching Willoughby smoking weed with the freshmen and waxing poetic on man's lost telepathic abilities. It's completely juvenile, but takes you back to those carefree college days. I think everyone knew someone like Willoughby in college.
The film has a slower pace that's fueled by an awesome soundtrack. From The Cars to the Sugar Hill Gang, the music is instrumental in setting the environment. It's a period comedy to the core. Everyone has shag hair, moustaches, cruising in gas-guzzling behemoths while ogling long-haired, platform shoed girls. Linklater portrays an idealistic, worry free Texas dream daze. You won't hear anything about college debt, but accidental pregnancy gets some humorous screen time.
Everybody Wants Some is a fun ride back in time. There's nothing dark about this film. It's literally two hours of campus partying in the eighties. Linklater wants you to remember youth fondly. Reality was never this carefree, but it's a joy to watch. Everybody Wants Some will leave you smiling and bouncing to the excellent music. Maybe even a few moustaches will result from this one.