Everybody wants some : A Film Review

Comedy. Rating 15

Writer, Director. Richard Linklater.

Cast. Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, Austin Amelio, Temple Baker, Tanner Kalina, Juston Street, Forrest Vickery.

After Boyhood Findyourselfhood

After the hugely successful, in cinematic frontier ship at least, comes a sequel of steadying the filmic ship.  Onto a perhaps another phase and time much familiar with writer and Director Richard Linklater.  See my link there!.  His 1980 set film Everyone wants some is a East Texas College based campus piece devoted to the ballsack baseball progenitor type set of relationships setting sail amongst adults with fixed ideas as male competitors.  There is a raft of fine athletic type actors drafted in to fit certain prefixed role playing characters as an ensemble carefully chosen to depict certain approaches Linklater sees as adult models.  He himself sees this ahead of the game as a cerebral non dormitory hedonistic pratfall diet visited in the eighties and seventies.  His is now a historical piece of observance.  Given the prequels we all possibly know this is has added Jung, Freudian, Plato, Hobbes, Spector, Ronettes, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, Studio 54, Petty  and Strinberg, Ginsberg and Kerouac filters.  Post Vietnam and Post Black Panthers now Carter, Reagan.

It covers the period leading up to College starting.  Literally day by day leading up to the least interesting thing on the agenda – a career defining education.  It is about the new premises.  The baseball team have been gifted two giant adjoining  suburban garden front and back detached houses.  The girls are dispersed about in dormitory holiday type/motel type accommodation chalets and part of the narrative is an important love story of a central film defining kind.  One central pairing as a focal point amidst the distractions intentionally placed in the pairs way.  Not by their friends but by the director.  It is essential and Jake (Jacob Bradley – Blake Jenner – I have him as the grazer but like the others there’s more to it than that, and the performing arts student – who picks out Jacob from the pack, entrusting his open faced clear sighted view the others don’t have or conceal – Beverley – Zoey Deutch). This is a very interesting mix and it is a good paced never boring but a tad stereotypical. 

Place the cast as YOU find them. The Competitor – Failure is not an option.  The Delusional – Already knowing but way of kilter. The Questioner – Why would anyone do that? What’s that all about?  The Analyser – Team editor sorting wheat from chaff  going with base instinct.  The Grazer – seeing the field and taking up the best available idea and working with it.  The Spirit – Trippy existentialist philosopher of cosmic micro analytic dimension definer.  Awesome.  The Groundling – Barnboy nature harvest ancient mariner in for the long haul.  The Weirdo –  if silly shit turns up then turn it on to eleven buddy.  The Van Halen – (spandex proofed) Hyper today’s happenin’ where the rules are a crowd surf.  The External – (There’s none – their highly unathletic and follow on from the Velvets to Tom Petty to Punk rebellion) and stay in hamsterville. Living on the wheel consuming fashion belting out attitude conforming and dying at the same time. The Multiplex – No side just an amorphous embodiment of the age.  Like a Ordinary Joe content to see the story and blend in.  The Tin hut – physically one the money and unaware of limits and finding them hard to define as pain comes and goes withoutvanybsurface lessons. The Cocksure – Safe and confident.  Able to fit in with the leaders demands but needs led.  Teamster not a railroader.  The Simpleton – There isn’t one but if you are too happy it’s likely you. The Fence Breaker – Breakingbthe racial barrier outsider.  The Asiatic – (There’s none in the team.) Basically only Americans play dude.  So spot the very occasional Chinese person (in a Union Jack tee-shirt). They were called just ‘tees’ in those days and often lacked the upper arm to expose its power and a bottom midriff to expose the body hair and lack of a tub.  

The car park 

Apart from the Chevrolets, Mustangs, Custom roadster, hoodster and Station wagons occupying the campus car park the steady stream of incomers were themselves a picture of middle class American college girl students.  With a low level aerial view we see the Baseball team meet and greet with an eye on all the girls arriving and it reminded me of, strangely, Brian Moores novel The Great Victorian Collection in which his protagonist awakes in a motel overlooking a car park which is filled with an array of Victorian fine antiques.  This is a period of the eighties generation arriving in fully primed sexual health, shiny and having attained the grades, entering the fresh knowledgable world as vintage, polished and tuned.  All furnished as relics of the States modern history as infant dwarf cabinets of the US modernity post madmen allure and this is in front of their new female dorms and quarters.  So a slow tour of all that is pristine, enticing, temptingly tangible and on display and the Players take their time to navigate this soon to be held up close and personal or not depending on attraction, rejection, fertile field of womanhood.  Eyes on stalks and little self concious banter is called for.  Here are Health Care masters, Literary incarnates, Chemists, Thespians, Artists and other self directed burgeoning feminine man or woman traps with their sexual odours circulating the car park  (and I was in a back seat of the cinema theatre and could sense it!) under the hot August Sun.  The music of this film is never far from a scene.  

You could write a whole musicology homage to the many period time signature hot songs anthems, though they took off after Peter Frampton had ‘squared it’ for a legion of copyists after Disco was king.  Too many nuances, side turns to go into here.  Except one song will hit home with people of ace retain age and even younger from not so far away and I don’t mean the one John Peel played twice as soon as it ended first time round at 45 rpm on vinyl.  The Ultra Disco of the parent generation still fills the floors.  The music is one of the key and multi entertaining features as a set of contrasting  tastes or even fly by zones of escapism.  I’m beginning to like this film the more I write about it as it is not a deeply involving though definitely a perceptive insightful look back at a recent piece of recent history and those that forged the Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, etc.

Period setting

The campus is so pre Columbine, so free and easy and lager fueled the psyhchedialoa of their parents laid back lifestyle – or not – fundamentalism and hardship, broken marriages, post war veterans and all kinds of American family patterns will be on the outside this inside is about, exist, and at it (Everybody wants some can be the golden ticket or scoring the nearest and easiest healthy ones of the opposite sex – no homo eroticism except the odd preening nappy holstered body shock fat free torso in their room hoisting their nuts skyward and forward in front of the mirror in a self loathing come test.           Well not so sexual but a closet type of Adonis is often Charles Atlasing in the Neighbourhood.  Nor are there any anti feminist, anti gay asides as this is in Richard Linklaters eyes a pre meltdown pre apocalypse world.  None of the outside wars are seen, no starvation, man made or natural disasters touched on.  No cultural reference except the culture of Sport and American sport at that, and sexual olympics with a multi verse Musical tapestry.

Just an excuse to put in a Julie Delphy photo! (Left R. Linklater sleeves on suit too long, Right E. Hawke too cool with hand in pocket.  There with an awesome woman – what’s got into them?!)

Conclusion. ###+ 3.5
I liked this film from the started and liked it even more as the story developed and it became clear this was a recent history tale of a former America and of a condensed set of friends and fellow students at the edge of the new decade and another years teaching and social bonding flipping and falling in 1980. It is a formidibale fast paced comedy and all through very engaging, perfectly constructed cast with all playing it like naive trivets to their parts (the types I identify are the main preserves in the jam these young ones are bottling into human multi personal forms. Their adult entry story.
The title is of all things. Everybody is lookin’ for something.. Etc. what it is is not often clear. It is somewhere in their DNA – yet to be encoded – on their mobiles – not one too be seen – three or four old people appear for less than retention seconds each – forty fifty sixty somethings – all looking into the theory of everything. Go get it never stop looking we all need it.
It is a very watchable constantly humorous, never uneasy – a purposeful exclusion – with some memorable scenes. One in the room they first Jake and his housemates meet, the Bar farce, crushed ego stare off, the diving bombing into the same pool of life, all different exhibitionist or otherwise acts, the love tyrsts, the Disco moves and the Baseball first practice. The drop out and the portrait of the near future. All is a daze for some and this is going to settle into a niche of formidable memory as technicolour sunny, funny, cocktail – you know what a cocktail is? See cast – portrait of a time.

John Graham

12 May 2016


Screens at QFT Belfast from 13 May to 26 May 2016. Check times dates as this week to get Hillsborough shown some films were shifted. Well worth watching this and the sound is awesome in the Cinema also!