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Everybody Wants Some!! is a coming of age drama that sidesteps the genre’s pitfalls

A film about a college baseball team would normally be painful watching, but Everybody Wants Some!! is a funny ode to growing up, writes Andriana Sotiris

Issue No. 2504

Tyler Hoechlin and Temple Baker in Everybody Wants Some!!

Tyler Hoechlin and Temple Baker in Everybody Wants Some!! (Pic: Paramount Pictures)


Director Richard Linklater brought you high school during the 1970s with Dazed and Confused. Now we have university in 1980 with his new comedy Everybody Wants Some!!

Pitched as Dazed and Confused’s “spiritual sequel”, Everybody Wants Some!! is a story that moves from school to university.

It follows a Texas University college baseball team. The main protagonist Jake (Blake Jenner) and his teammates party and break rules in the long weekends before classes begin.

The humour is juvenile and would ordinarily be painful to watch or in danger of moving towards misogyny.

But Linklater keeps it on the right side of offensive.This way the main characters are hilarious, but also vulnerable and somehow endearing in their futile attempts at finding companionship.

Despite the young men’s fake hyper-masculine antics, some critics have described Everybody Wants Some!! as “deceptively deep”. While unclear at first, this becomes easier to see as the film progresses.

Linklater looks at how the characters see themselves, as the boys begin to ask, “Who am I?”

Talent

Having gone through high school being the best at what they do, at university they soon find that talent is everywhere.

What once defined them hardly matters anymore, as they are no longer “the best” at what they do.

This is a recurring theme throughout the film and is brought to the fore as an identity crisis ensues.

In order to form relationships they rapidly change their identities—from disco, to country, to punk.

And what would a film be without a bit of romance?

Jake manages to “get lucky” and a relationship slowly becomes the centre of his story.

Ordinarily this would be problematic, as romantic side stories are often used to make up for a lack of depth in the actual plot. But Linklater uses romance to enrich the plot, which allows the audience to have the occasional break from the film’s general tomfoolery.

It’s this balance of humour and depth, and its ability to make you feel both happiness and bittersweet melancholy, that makes it worth seeing.

Everybody Wants Some!! Directed by Richard Linklater. Out now

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Reviews
Tue 17 May 2016, 16:33 BST
Issue No. 2504
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