Looking Back at 2010s Films: Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

10 Oct

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By Tanner Smith

Continuing my series of Looking Back at 2010s Films, one of my favorite directors Richard Linklater has made some great films this decade–“Before Midnight,” “Boyhood,” “Bernie,” “Last Flag Flying”…and “Everybody Wants Some!!”

What do you get when someone like Richard Linklater who specializes in conversation/interaction and philosophy in film decides to make his own “Porky’s”-style comedy about a bunch of young guys just looking to party, get wasted, and get laid? You get “Everybody Wants Some!!” (I’d say I’ll take this film over “Porky’s” any day, but then again, “Everybody Wants Some!!” is great and “Porky’s” is a piece of garbage…in my opinion.)

The film is basically about the days leading up to the first day of school in Texas in the fall of 1980, as freshman Jake moves into a house suited for his college-baseball teammates……that’s about it. They cruise chicks, they party, they practice baseball, they compete with each other, they do whatever they want to do.

It’d be a risk to make a film set in the ’80s which is about a bunch of loud, mostly-obnoxious jocks looking to ogle chicks and attempt to score with them. Attitudes have definitely changed (for the most part) since the time in which this film is set. But thanks to the inclusion of a self-aware character named Finnegan (Glen Powell), it’s given a little leeway as long as SOMEONE knows their behavior is mostly ridiculous.

But wait! Would anyone have really thought the way Finn does, even back in the day? Yes–it’s college, this guy’s been there and done that, he knows his stuff. (The reason none of the kids in Jonah Hill’s “mid90s” discussed their crude talk is because they’re dumb high-school kids, whereas the characters in “Everybody Wants Some!!” are dumb college kids.)

Another reason it works is because there is a genuine connection that develops between freshman Jake (our main character, played by Blake Jenner) and theatre-major Beverly (Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson’s daughter–she looks like her!). Everyone else is using lame pickup lines (most of which work well for them); Jake’s just being himself. He’s intimidated by this person who’s just full of spirit and pluck, but he also wants to get to know her because of it. It’s really sweet.

And another reason the film works is that it’s also very funny, mostly due to the clever dialogue Linklater gives to Finn (my favorite character), who has his own BS philosophies about why everyone in this film does what they do. Why do they try so many cultural venues, like discotheques, punk rock concerts, redneck bars, and theatre parties? Because it’s a way of adapting…sort of…mostly, it’s about doing what they can to pick up chicks. You gotta laugh at this guy’s honesty.

And a main reason I love it is just because it reminds me of when I started college and fell in with a group of people who shared the same major as me and would become my close friends for a while. The misadventures, the conversations, even the music we listened to–the pop culture in “Everybody Wants Some!!” is different from when I experienced these things, but the feelings are still relevant.

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