By Liz Lopez
Directed and written by Richard Linklater, Everybody Wants Some!! is the SXSW Film Festival Opening Night film in the Headliners category and after a couple of more screenings during the festival, followed by a fundraiser for the Austin Film Society on March 26th, it opens in theaters nationwide on April 1st. The filmmaker’s latest work is obviously very different from the successful dramas, Before Midnight and Boyhood, and the throwback to 1980s set on a college campus is actually more fun than I initially anticipated. I don’t usually see a film twice in a matter of a couple of weeks, but with Everybody Wants Some!!, I certainly made the exception. It has been a long time since I was in college, but viewing the cars (a ’72 Oldsmobile coupe, for starters) and classic songs by Van Halen, Blondie, the Knack and the Sugarhill Gang, I was hooked on wanting to see what high jinks each of the ball players can cook up on the weekend before the fall semester starts. I realize this story may not appeal to every film fan – especially those who have no interest in revisiting college, or following young athletes and their intended conquests – but it is overall fun.
Linklater’s latest film follows a team of ’80s college baseball players before the start of a new school year; some are incoming freshman joining the upper classmen, including a pitcher, Jake (Blake Jenner, Glee) and roommate, Billy Autry (Will Brittain), among others who are residing in a couple of city – donated homes that come with a set of rules according to the coach. Fellow players, McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), Dale (J. Quinton Johnson), Finn (Glen Powell), Roper (Ryan Guzman), and Willoughby (Wyatt Russell) are intent on breaking said house rules. Daytime is for sobering up and just hanging out then, by evening, they are prepping for the nightly bar runs and parties that might yield willing hook up partners. Needless to say, there is plenty of competitiveness, either as they smoke pot, disco, country or punk dance, or engage in a sport (some baseball, table-tennis, etc.). Their individual personalities stand out, including the wacky, belligerent Niles (Juston Street) who thinks he is the hottest of all. Not!!
Jake, shy and awkward at first, catches the eye of Beverly (Zoey Deutch), a fine-arts major on the first day on campus while driving around with fellow ball players. Despite finding plenty of ladies to flirt with at the bars, he reaches out to see how interested this beauty really is. Does he get teased? You bet!
I give props to costume designer Kari Perkins for finding the right short shorts, tank tops, shirts and ladies clothing from that decade for this film. Music supervisor, Randall Poster, and everyone else involved in the music selection and sound did a fantastic job and I can’t wait until I have a soundtrack!
This has an MPAA Rating of PG-13, but I am surprised with the drugs, alcohol and nude scenes. Running time is 116 minutes. Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! is in theaters now.