When high school graduate Jake (Blake Jenner) cruises into view in the 1980s-set comedy Everybody Wants Some!!, preceded by “My Sharona” blaring from the car stereo, there’s no mistaking the decade nor the carefree, cheerily horny tone of the picture. And as our bright-eyed hero proceeds to hang out with his new baseball teammates, party around town and strike up a puppy-ish romance on the last weekend before the start of college or – unoﬃcially – adulthood, the rock-infused soundtrack continues to play an integral part in the storytelling. Linklater, the uncrowned king of American indie cinema, picked classic jams from the likes of Pink Floyd and Van Halen to put together an immensely likeable sonic backdrop that encapsulates the restless zeitgeist of the period and accentuates a generation’s unapologetic quest for fun. While this spritely retro trip has nostalgia and drive to spare, its quotidian, exclusively frat-minded writing, hanging loosely onto an episodic structure, fails to engage beyond the obvious appeal of balls, beer and babes. Rightfully billed as the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused (1993) but lacking the intricacy and momentum of that cult favourite, the Boyhood-helmer’s latest eventually arrives at a charmed, poignant ending, but how it coasts through the two-hour runtime to get there is decidedly less inspired.
Everybody Wants Some!! | Directed by Richard Linklater (USA 2016) with Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin. Starts June 2
Originally published in issue #150, June 2016.