A “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, set in the world of 1980s college life, Everybody Wants Some!! follows a group of friends navigating their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.
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2.5, really--rounded up out of respect for the many films of Linklater's that have meant something to me over the years. (Still, I may as well confess here that I've avoided seeing Boyhood a second time, doubting my initial response would survive it.) The best thing about Link's all-too-limp latest is the goofily winning Willoughby, whose stoned soliloquy and secret story are genuinely telling and affecting.
Time to confess a prejudice: the wealthy, square-jawed, apple pie, WASPish, fratboy American jock is an alien species to me, so it comes as a great surprise that Richard Linklater has made a film that appears to salute them. I found this film artificial, boring, sexist, unfunny and cringeworthy - but I suspect that may be because I simply do not relate to these characters whatsoever.
Linklater continues to keep the cinema on its toes with this gem of a film that has some great energy, a killer soundtrack, and a really fucking good time that makes you want to be there with these characters and have as much fun as they are having.
Richard Linklater doesn't so much predicate his films upon realism in terms of conversations and situational behavior (a lot of this particular film has clearly fabricated details and far too eloquent and intelligent conversations) but how we like to bedazzle memories in our lives. The most consistently entertaining film of the year and the funniest; a perfect blend of interpersonal relationships and imminence.
The competitive nature of the athlete & the social context of which he's a part. Men of Davidian beauty powerfully expressing their persons by way of physical exertion. Getting laid, falling back on comforts of social safety, the mundaneness of non-athletic life. There's existential concern here, profound sympathy & criticism. The body will deteriorate & one will require more. Not sure yet, but likely a masterwork.
In the hands of anyone else, this would have been a sophomoric and pointless nostalgia trip. Yet there are gentle epiphanies cleverly hidden amidst the frat house antics. Linklater calls this a cousin to "Boyhood", beginning when Mason leaves for college, and a sort of sequel to "Dazed and Confused", when the 70's converged with the 80's. It's a rich slice of time, brimming with self-awareness and youthful potential.
It's difficult to enjoy a film when the main characters are everything that you despised in college. Frat boys and jocks have a natural entitlement that makes you want to punch them in the face. Repeatedly.