Jockstrap-on (Everybody Wants Some!! review)
I kind of hated dating when I was a younger buck. Mostly because of all the hormones, the uncertainty of identity, and dealing with the scores of other impressionable youth who were in the same boat as I.
It was messy and unclear, but giving myself and others roles made it easier to navigate, and in hindsight it probably was the most mature way to deal with the situation.
But hey, I wanted some, and everybody else did too.
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
Cast: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Juston Street, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, Temple Baker
Director: Richard Linklater
released on blu-ray July 12, 2016
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%, Audience Score 76%
The Guardian: ****/*****
Richard Linklater is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor. He is also one of my favourite directors of all-time. To quote Wikipedia:
Linklater is mostly known for his natural humanist films which mainly revolve around personal relationships, suburban culture, and the effects of the passage of time.
Linklater is responsible for Dazed and Confused (the spiritual predecessor to Everybody Wants Some!!), Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Waking Life, Boyhood, A Scanner Darkly, Fast Food Nation, School of Rock, and Bernie.
And those are just the movies of his that I’ve seen. I STILL haven’t seen Slacker, SubUrbia, The Newton Boys, Tape, nor Me and Orson Welles. But let’s not talk about The Bad News Bears remake. *shudders*
Influenced by the film Raging Bull, Linklater has always made movies about travelling, whether literal or a metaphor. Never focusing in on one theme or end goal, his movies resolve themselves in a loose way, much like life itself.
Everybody Wants Some!! is a perfect example of this play on suburbia, timing, and relationships. Set in Texas in the fall semester of 1980 and taking place over the first few days of college, we meet freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) as he moves into the house he’ll share with college baseball teammates over the period of his college education.
Sharing the screen time with Jake are his roommate Billy AKA “Beuter” (Will Brittain), teammates Finnegan (Glen Powell), Roper (Ryan Guzman), Dale (Quinton Johnson), Plummer (Temple Baker) and several others.
Over the course of the movie Jake and his new friends cruise the streets to meet women, get competitive over ping pong, basketball, drinking, and other games, and host a couple of parties. Not to mention attending a disco, a country bar, a punk show, AND a theatre house party.
We watch the group dynamic quickly evolves over the weekend, and Jake develops a relationship with Beverly (Zoey Deutch) (one of the women he met while cruising the streets at the outset of the film), it isn’t long before the film closes out with Jake and Plummer in their first class, sound asleep.
Pros: Linklater has a delicate touch, and he’s able to inject us into the lives of his characters without giving us a villain to best or a heart to win. He manages to articulate brotherhood and time in such a venerable way, that becomes quite sad when you see the credits roll and realize it’s time to go.
Cons: You do feel tested at times in this experience, wondering if all of this competition really is necessary and if the characters wouldn’t benefit from some breaks in their self-imposed roles.
Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes
Points of Interest: Linklater has said that Everybody Wants Some!! is a continuation of Boyhood as it picks up right where that movie left off, conceptually. The original title of the film “That’s What I’m Talking About” is a line from Dazed and Confused, and often quote in this film.
The major takeaway of this movie is that dialogue is at the centre of it. It’s a coming of age tale in a time when masculinity was overtly tied to direct competition. And it demonstrates rather well the challenges that young men face in their conquest of meeting young women, whether that means putting on bell bottoms, adorning a cowboy hat, ripping up a white t-shirt with blood and ash or ultimately (and cleverly on Linklater’s part) putting on a costume to cozy up to the artistic. And he manages to make interest in sports way more nuanced than it’s ever been on film before.
The attitudes these young men hold for themselves, their peers, and women are rather basic at the root, but underneath the costume of jock wearing costume to get a woman, they reveal they are complex and just as lost as the rest of us dumb nerds.