With Dazed and Confused, he tackled the 70s.
Now, Richard Linklater reintroduces audiences to the 80s with Everybody Wants Some.
Chronicling the lives of college baseball players in the three days leading up to the start of fall semester, Everybody Wants Some is an easy-going film about the fun, excitement and nerves people universally experience when they begin their college career. All this is set with impeccable detail in the 80s. Through his use of iconic music, fashion and technology unique to his period of choice, Linklater effortlessly transports audiences to a time that is seemingly different but fundamentally similar to their own.
But that isn’t what makes this film unique.
What differentiates Everybody Wants Some from other coming-of-age stories is that it doesn’t have a story. Characters don’t go through arcs or overcome conflict. This film is all about moments. More specifically, beginnings. It also proves that Richard Linklater is the Instagram of past decades.
In Everybody Wants Some, he only captures moments worth uploading to an Instagram feed: introductions, first parties, first crushes, first practice. He only shows the most charismatic and superficial versions of his characters. They each have distinct personalities, but there is never enough time spent on them to truly make them noteworthy. However, there is just enough life in them to be relatable and remind you of people you know.
This detached viewing experience also allows audiences to explore the youth culture of a particular generation. By following several characters over a short period of time instead of deeply exploring one specific character over a long period of time, the film presents generalized insight into gender, societal pressures, and social interactions. It is an incredibly relatable film… If you are a white, heterosexual male.
Don’t come into this film expecting diversity. You will get the token minority character and that’s it. For all of Everybody Wants Some’s uniqueness within its genre, it is still a genre all about straight white guys because only straight white guys have the opportunity to make these types of films.
Nevertheless, the film has an outstanding cast. Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell were especially fantastic, but this is one of those films where each person can come out preferring different performances.
Only Zoey Deutch stands out for giving a noticeably weaker performance but that has more to do with the fact that her scenes were the most predictable. The budding romance between her character and Bruce Jenner’s drags the film’s pace. Despite being the only real story the film offers, because it is so trite, it fails to add any additional depth or enjoyment.
Although Everybody Wants Some is highly enjoyable, it doesn’t matter if you see it in the theater or on Netflix. There are other films that more visually captivating and are meant to be seen on the big screen. Unless you were a young adult of the 80s or are interested in feel-good films, I would wait until it’s home release.
Everybody Wants Some was released April 8, 2016.