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SYNOPSIS: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

Review by Louise Keller:
Just like the infamous When Harry Met Sally scene in which the woman declares 'I want what she's having,' we all want to feel the same energy and zest for living shared by all Richard Linklater's characters in his latest film about diving into adulthood. It's a sequel of sorts to Linklater's 1993 Dazed and Confused, which was set during the end of high school in the mid 70s. Everybody Wants Some is all about 'the now' and the promise of what is to come, as a bunch of fun-loving college students in 1980 explore baseball and girls in joyous, highly charged days before the beginning of term. There is something infectious about the spontaneity on display as it captures the joys of self-discovery, exploring life and having fun. If we could only bottle that feeling!

There's a box of LP records in the back of his sleek blue Oldsmobile coupe, as Jake (Blake Jenner) makes his entrance to his new college digs - to the toe-tapping sound of The Knack's My Sharona. The records are symbolic - music plays a big part in the film with a wonderful selection of 70s and 80s music tracks. In a scene later on, one of the students (high from smoking a bong) refers to the music, saying it is between the notes that you find out who you are.

It is through Jake's eyes that we enter the world that Linklater wants to share with us. Jenner, looking a little like a young Schwarzenegger is a perfect choice: likeable with a tall, well built physique. As the freshman, he imbues the perfect balance of innocence, smarts and willingness to dive into the deep end of the pool filled with fun and experimentation.

Everything is competitive - from the central theme of baseball, about which all the students are passionate - to table tennis, knuckle flicking, shooting darts, snooker, drinking, smoking weed and of course girls. There's good-natured ribbing with special focus on the freshmen that bear much of the brunt. The rules might state that there is no drinking in the house now called 'home', nor girls to be taken upstairs into bedrooms, but rules are made to be broken. The behaviour is tribal with animal instincts on display as relationships are developed, stretched and pulled apart. Friendships and familiarity happen intuitively and there is a lovely sense of being a part of something, when passion about all things is allowed to flourish. Temperatures rise as the sun goes down, when the music gets louder and the dancing and drinking begins.

The ensemble cast comprising various personality types works well together and inevitably, sex is top of mind for these hunky guys dressed into tight shorts and fitted shirts; the relationship Jake develops with the girl with auburn hair from Room 307 (Zoey Deutch, lovely) is delightful. Through his Before Sunrise trilogy and Boyhood, Linklater has shown his innate skills in involving us in the spontaneous, minutiae of real life. This latest work reinforces our passion for living and making each day count.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I'm not sure everybody will want some of Richard Linklater's latest work, about three or so days in the lives of a bunch of young Americans on the eve of a new year at college (uni). It is meant to show the immaturity fighting emerging maturity in 19 - 20 year olds at the moment their new lives begin towards an adult future. How fragile they are while seeming invincible. The group is a team of budding baseball players, which helps to further alienate people like me, ignorant of the game and with little interest in it. My shortcoming, I know. Given all these elements, it is not surprising that there is little to engage me and my ilk, and plenty to be bored about.

It is with reluctance that I share these negative thoughts since I do admire Linklater's cinematic talents. Only recently I nostalgically binge watched all three of his Before ... films (Sunrise, Sunset, Midnight), while his 2008 Me and Orson Welles is a minor classic in my books. All of them - and this one is no exception - rely heavily on dialogue driven relationships and gossamer threads of subconscious thoughts and feelings.

But I am also averse to films that spend too much time showing college kids spending too much time boozing and smooching and smoking dope at parties; these are not spectator activities, especially if we are not too invested in the characters.

The setting is 1980, which allows for some virtual time travel into an era before newfound social mores and political correctness invaded western communities like a vicious plague. But even these aspects of the film give us nothing new nor add meaning to the subject matter. If you feel a sigh of nostalgia for the era and what you were doing or being at the time, maybe you would get a bigger hit from the film than I.

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Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

(US, 2016)

CAST: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, J. Quinton Johnson, Will Britain

PRODUCER: Megan Ellison, Richard Linklater, Ginger Sledge

DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater

SCRIPT: Richard Linklater


EDITOR: Sandra Adair

MUSIC: Not credited


RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes



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