Tuesday, 5 July 2016
FILM REVIEW: EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
Likened to a spiritual successor to one of writer-director Richard Linklater's earliest films, Dazed and Confused (1993), Everybody Wants Some!! also picks up where his previous film, the impressive Boyhood, left off; that film's protagonist, having been followed from the age of six through to high school graduation, leaving home for college.
It's 1980 and three days out from the commencement of the Fall semester at a Texan university when first-year student Jake (Blake Jenner) arrives at the off-campus house which he will share with seven other students, all teammates on the university baseball team. A second house of eight ball players is next door.
The coach announces there is to be no alcohol on the premises and women aren't to progress above the first floor but we suspect he knows he's already struck out on both counts. And there's plenty of boozing and some womanizing in Everybody Wants Some!! but this is no frat house comedy. Bad neighbours these guys may be but the film isn't concerned with what goes on in these jocks' jocks: there's far more talk than action, this is a Richard Linklater film after all.
And Linklater is a master of simultaneously capturing both the profound and the mundane in the every day and the passage of time. It's a theme which preoccupies much of his work -- Boyhood, the Before trilogy -- even if Everybody Wants Some!! doesn't quite reach the same heights, particularly emotionally, of those films. Male bonding and its inevitable competitive nature are examined here but there's no scarring or even bruising; Linklater's characters' punches are more prodding than probing and everything occurs in a late summer haze reeking strongly of beer and weed, rendering events more mellow than malicious.
It's fun and ephemeral and might leave you asking 'what was the point of all that?' But then, most booze-soaked long weekends tend to have that effect. The further you get from it the more fondly you may recall it.