Some of my favourite films and television shows have an indescribable plot - and I don’t mean that they’re so incomprehensible in depth, I mean that there’s not a lot that really happens (‘Seinfeld’, I’m looking at you). ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is incredibly enjoyable for that very same reason, however at the same time it’s a film that will leave you with a veritable array of emotions.
The film is directed by Richard Linklater, who you’ll be familiar with from his twelve-year film project, ‘Boyhood’. ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is set in the Texan 1980s, and follows the inhabitants of two houses given to the local baseball team, in the lead-up to their first week at college.
Blake Jenner takes the lead as Jake, a freshman - he’s the jock with a heart, first arriving at the house with a crate of records in one hand, and his record-player in the other. Upon entering the house, he walks into a couple of the guys filling a waterbed through a hose (nearly breaking the second storey of the house), because of the supposed “benefits” it leads to in the bedroom. It's a great entry into the world that the film is a part of - a world where sex is at the forefront, followed closely by baseball.
The ensemble cast is fantastic - there’s Tyler Hoechlin (yup, from ‘Teen Wolf’!) as the leader of the gang, Ryan Guzman as the terrible smooth-talker (though that’s a title that is deserved by many in the film), and Blake Jenner, as Jake, the character who the audience can enter into the world through. There’s a lot of so called “fuckwithery” (a term Jake comes up with) that happens, as one would expect in a house of boys. There’s drugs, alcohol, and sex, all set amongst the male dynamic of the house.
At the core of the film is the idea of competition. It’s present in almost every scene - sleeping with girls is a competition, the ridiculous games they play are competitions, and baseball is obviously a competition. It brings out a different nature in each character, giving us a chance to fully understand each one, despite them all being driven by the same thing.
As well as the competitive aspects of the film, there’s also a heck of a lot of romance, particularly in the latter part of the film. Linklater’s experience with romanticism from his previous work on the trilogy of ‘Before Sunrise’, ‘Before Sunset’, and ’Before Midnight’ and are apparent in ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’, yet the romance still has an innocence and college naivety to it - in the best way possible.
Linklater considers ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ to be the sequel to ‘Boyhood’, in an interview stating: “It begins right where Boyhood ends with a guy showing up at college and meeting his new roommates and a girl. It overlaps with the end of Boyhood.” Regardless of the chronology of it, the film is a snapshot into the 1980s college culture filled with witticisms, as each character goes through a search for their true identity.
‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is part of the New Zealand International Film Festival, taking place in Auckland from July 14th-31st. Click HERE to read our top picks for the festival.
Watch the ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ trailer below…