Linklater channels his mischievous youth days as source material in his latest varsity film, Everybody Wants Some. In short, it’s about students making the most of the last few days leading up to the start of the new semester.
Writer-director Linklater returns to the student scene from his wildly successful Dazed and Confused in this comedy set in the 80s’. Enter the baseball frat house where freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) is quickly made aware that pitchers aren’t liked. Well, that’s the very strong opinion of heavy hitter McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), who likes to act like the alpha, although the real leader is the paisley-shirted ladies man – Finn (Glen Powell, notably the standout performance). Finn and Dale (J. Quinton Johnson) welcome young Jake like a long lost brother to their group.
With no time to waste, a party is being held and they need bodies to attend – so the skirt chasing begins. Everybody Wants Some features a truly odd group of guys that, despite their sporting status, clearly have no clue how to attract women. And so they play dress-up and it’s impressive that they have a wardrobe large enough to cater for every type of venue. The girls are into country? They grab the Stetson and boots. Rock chicks? Ripped flannel and vests it is.
Amidst all the alcohol and weed fumes of swinging fists and occupied beds and steaming back seats, the guys do question what comes next. Everybody Wants Some is not all swinging bats and tapping booty, which gives the script more substance – the sense of searching for purpose and what truly builds character. Towards the end, Jake is attracted to a theatre major, and the possibility of lasting young love restores that youthful wonder to the plot. It balances out nicely, otherwise it would’ve been another shallow varsity movie full of profanity.