Out of all the current great directors out there I know very little about Richard Linklater. After some research and finding out he is one of the biggest indie directors of America, I did feel stupid. I have even seen a couple of his movies.
Nevertheless, his Everybody Wants Some!! feels exactly like Animal House. It’s about these college baseball players having fun in a college dorm before the term begins in three days and pays homage to the eighties while it does it.
I felt this movie was just dabbling in Linklater’s youth. The focus was not really on the story so much as the concept of the situation. It was like “What were the funniest, most memorable things I did in the eighties?” and he put it together in film form.
Don’t believe me? Well, the movie title with the two exclamation points at the end is an homage to Van Halen; The college guys go to parties with a variety of cultural groups. They include country party, a punk party, a dance party and a house party. There is a pothead speaking philosophically about music and there is a costume/ roleplay party.
All of this is good because all of the characters are not assholes.
There is one character in it played by Glen Powell. He really makes the movie work. He is a supporting character who is a rare combination of funny, sleazy and open-minded. He is a frat boy with the one ultimate goal in mind: to have the time of his life no matter how stupid or idiotic it would sound.
That is the heart of this movie.
There is also a romantic subplot that works but it really feels secondary compared to the main plot.
While the movie takes it sweet time sometimes and slow down in momentum, there is always a scene in Everybody Wants Some that always pick it back up. While I don’t think it teaches anyone anything and sometimes the story is a little off-kilter there is always bright spots and 80’s nostalgia that makes Everybody Wants Some!! feel organic. ***