Everybody Wants Some review: One of the best films of the year
Film review: Everybody Wants Some

Matthew Turner casts his critical eye over Richard Linklater's sensational '80s-set college comedy Everybody Wants Some


Synopsis: A college baseball player arrives at university and bonds with his new teammates in the days before classes begin.

Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman
Genre: Comedy
Country: USA
Release date: May 13, 2016
Cert: 15
Running time: 117 mins

Described by writer-director Richard Linklater as a “spiritual sequel” to his cult last-days-of-high-school comedy Dazed and Confused, his latest feature (named after a Van Halen song) can also be read as a loose follow-up to his coming-of-age classic Boyhood, since the new film picks up at around the same stage in life that Boyhood ended, albeit in a different time period and with a different lead character.

The result is one of the best films of the year, even if it’s not quite as awards-friendly as Linklater’s previous Oscar-winner.

A hang-out movie par excellence

Set over four days in August 1980, the film centres on Jake (Glee star Blake Jenner), a baseball pitcher starting his first year at a fictional Texas university.

Arriving at the house he’ll share with his fellow college baseball players, Jakes spends the next three days and fifteen minutes (as a handy onscreen countdown informs us) getting to know his teammates – including smooth-talking Finn (Glenn Powell) and cocky alpha male McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin) – as they drink, take bong hits, play games, attend baseball practice, chase girls, hit nightclubs and throw parties.

He also strikes up an unexpected connection with theatre major Beverly (Zoey Deutch).

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Linklater’s laid-back, free-flowing structure (as showcased in several of his previous films) has lead to this particular sub-genre being labelled the “hang-out movie”.

As such, this is a hang-out movie par excellence, with no real plot to speak of, ensuring that, like Jake, you gradually relax into the rhythm of the film and get a feel for who all the different characters are.

Jenner delivers an immensely likeable performance, and it’s fascinating to watch him slowly become more confident in his new surroundings – he also sparks appealingly sweet chemistry with Deutch.

Of the supporting cast, Powell stands out as pick-up artist Finn (and nabs all the best lines), while Will Brittain makes a strong impression as Jake’s dopey roommate Beuter.

Rehabilitates the image of the jock

Linklater effortlessly captures the lust for life that accompanies the first taste of away-from-parents freedom that university represents.

He also single-handedly rehabilitates the image of the jock in popular culture. These guys may be perpetually horny, competitive types (they’re actually a lot more fun to be around than that sounds), but they’re also witty, thoughtful, insecure and very, very funny, essentially a far cry from the usual jock stereotypes in American movies.

In addition, the film is heightened by a combination of Shane F. Kelly’s sun-drenched cinematography, some stunningly detailed, nostalgia-inducing production design work, and a fabulous soundtrack that encompasses disco, punk, country and rock.

Worth seeing?

Serving up a heady combination of laugh-out-loud humour, likeable characters and powerful nostalgia, this is a treat from start to finish. One of the best films of the year.