Everybody gets some in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, an ensemble campus comedy, about a house of college baseball players, in the American south in 1980. The story takes place the weekend before classes begin. It centers on Jake (Blake Jenner), an incoming freshman pitcher, who must navigate a testosterone-fueled environment to carve out a place for himself. The other guys in the house aren’t caricatures, but they do have roles that make the comedy work: a few loose screws, a smooth-talking chameleon, the alpha-male control freak, the stoner, the slacker, the suckup, the ultra-vain one, the token black guy. The tone of the movie is almost uniformly easygoing, playful, joyful, and jocular—sadness and angst basically don’t exist in this bro-universe. The women in the Everybody Wants Some!! are conventionally attractive trophies for the boys. Jake’s love interest, Beverly (Zoey Deutch), is a theater major, and the performance aspect of theater and baseball is a bridge for the couple. Though there’s enough organic action to keep the two hour film consistently interesting, as many Linklater movies, Everybody Wants Some!! is character and conversation, rather than plot, driven; it’s a hangout comedy, atmospheric and fun. Its complementary, vibrant soundtrack features Devo, The Cars, Blondie, and Sugar Hill Gang. Based on Linklater’s own experiences in college, the movie is personal, though no single character is a surrogate for the filmmaker.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White