Everybody Wants Some!! (A Look At Linklater’s Latest)

They keep their noses to the grindstone, often think outside the box, avoid publicity most of the time, and write and direct movies right and left. Not being a film scholar, I’m unable to say how many of our fellow humans currently fit that description. But I’ll offer the two names that pop into my mind: Woody Allen. Richard Linklater.

IMG_0316
Maybe I’ll pen an essay about Woody one of these days. But today not being that day, I’ll proceed with some thoughts about Richard Linklater and about his latest movie. It’s called Everybody Wants Some!!, and it’s a really raunchy comedy. If you’re uncomfortable with fu*ks and sh*ts filling the air like swarming gnats, then you’re gonna wanna sit this one out. I saw Everybody recently with my wife Sandy, who doesn’t always go for raunchy comedies. She liked this one, though. And so did I. It’s cruder than crude, but it’s also kind of sweet and nutty and charming.

You know, Linklater’s newest ain’t no masterpiece. But who cares? It’s a romp. A blast. And Linklater undoubtedly needed a breather of sorts after finishing production on Everybody’s predecessor, Boyhood, in 2014. Boyhood had to have been a challenge and a half. It followed the life and times of a lad over a 13 year period, up to the start of his freshman year at college. And it did this in real time. Linklater filmed Boyhood for a few days every year from 2002 through 2014. Same cast each year, and pretty much the same crew. It’s hard to imagine the patience and discipline required to devise and orchestrate a project of such magnitude.

Everybody-Wants-Some-poster-377x586
Boyhood aimed high, examining life’s nuances and complexities. Everybody Wants Some!! aims a lot lower. Its focus is on the cravings of the gonadal regions of a group of collegiate male student-athletes gathered together a few days before the start of classes, in 1980 Texas. The boys comprise the college’s baseball team, and have been allowed, and assigned, to live together in a big old house off-campus for the upcoming school year. The college’s administrative geniuses who made that decision never saw Animal House, for sure.

Boys being boys, and testosterone being testosterone, the baseball tribe’s upperclassmen lead the newbies from bacchanalia to bacchanalia all over town for several days, including the blowouts in their big old house. Vast numbers of college girls are ogled and flirted with. And some, certainly not as many as the boys would have hoped for, are bedded. Actually, though, Everybody details the high life too. Amazing quantities of beer are drunk during the movie. And so much cannabis smoke is inhaled, I left the theater with a contact high. Thanks, Linklater, I needed that . . . and I’m not joking.

Not every scene in Everybody plays out as wackily as intended, and not all the dialogue slips easily off the actors’ tongues. But the pursuit of wild fun rarely slows. Where else are you going to see guys and girls, gleefully drunk, riding a mattress down a flight of stairs? Or watch a team’s veteran players duct-tape its new guys to an outfield wall, and then launch balls at them during batting practice?

Everbody Wants Some!! is drawn from Linklater’s collegiate life, and is a follow-up, in spirit, to his 1993 movie Dazed And Confused, which emerged from his high school experiences. High school, for Linklater, was a time of frustration and confinement. College? Hey, kind of the opposite. Goodbye to parental restraints, hello to freedom and experimentation. Linklater’s quasi-alter ego in Everybody, freshman Jake (smoothly played by Blake Jenner), is the eyes and gonads through which the movie unfolds.

As part of my attempt at research for this article, I read an interview that Linklater gave not long ago to help promote Everybody. He said: “That’s what the [new] movie’s about, navigating that transitional period and the notion of identity. Who are you? Who do you want to be?”

Huh? Richard, I disagree. Only a smattering of screen time is assigned to analyses of the big concepts that you mentioned. Yeah, the guys (and the one girl who has more than five lines during the flick) are possibly semi-consciously on a quest for self-discovery, but who isn’t? To me, what Everybody Wants Some!! is about is grabbing hold of good times while you can. Because they don’t necessarily last forever.

And something very basic dawned on me in the midst of my research. Namely, without having realized it before, I’m a Linklater fan. He has directed 18 feature films over the years, and I’ve seen (and liked) eight of them. That’s 44%, which isn’t bad. But his five most recent movies, a string that began with 2008’s Me And Orson Welles, are a different story. I’ve caught them all, which was news to me. The quintet includes Bernie, a delightful movie from 2011 starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine that I urge all to see.

(Don’t be shy about adding your comments, or about sharing this article with others)

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Everybody Wants Some!! (A Look At Linklater’s Latest)

    • yeahanotherblogger May 4, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Everybody Wants Some is fairly lightweight compared to Boyhood. But it has a lot of laughs and energy. It’s a fun movie.

      Like

  1. Cindy May 4, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Did you see School of Rock? That was a fun film, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan O. May 5, 2016 / 1:51 am

    It’s what you expect from Linklater, and for all of the right reasons. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joyce May 5, 2016 / 8:09 am

    I normally don’t like raunchy comedy but since Sandy liked it l would consider seeing this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elizabeth M. Soltan May 5, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Well-written review: I consider myself warned!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger May 5, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Liz, if you decide to go and see it, let me know what you think of the movie.

      Like

  5. lorigreer May 6, 2016 / 9:27 am

    Loved Boyhood so will give this a try if I can get past the profanity. A bit of profanity for effect doesn’t bother me. It’s the endless use that detracts or doesn’t add any meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger May 6, 2016 / 10:13 am

      I’d say that the cursing is all in context. But I understand that it’s not every person’s taste.

      Like

  6. screenzealots May 6, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    We really, really hated this movie. I know most critics absolutely loved it but man, it was bad! I think I’ve found maybe two other people who hated it. Go figure! (And yeah, the “Before” trilogy films are my favorite of Linklater’s movies). Nice write-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger May 6, 2016 / 2:27 pm

      I’m going to pass on your comments about Everybody to Linklater. He will disown you! (I’m kidding, I’m kidding).

      Like

  7. colleenldonnelly May 16, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    I’m with Elizabeth above – very well written and fair review…and I consider myself to be warned.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Claremary P. Sweeney August 24, 2016 / 11:12 am

    I saw Bernie last week and really liked it. The direction was great and the subject matter quirky. MacLaine and Black were superb – and to think these were actual characters! I’ll catch more of Linklater’s films thanks to this review.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s