Incoming freshman and baseball prospect, Jake, arrives at college where he will be living off-campus in a house with other baseball team members. What else is there to do for a bunch of athletic, free-for-the-first-time, barely-post-pubescent kids to do on their last weekend before classes? Practice?
Richard Plays the Hits
I decided to check out this movie after I watched Linklater's (Boyhood, Before Trilogy) “Dazed and Confused” to celebrate its 25 year anniversary. I loved it but wasn’t necessarily going to run out and buy it. Then Seth (my reviewing and True Myth Media partner) told me that he thought “Everybody Wants Some,” was a sort of spiritual sequel to Dazed and that he actually liked it better.
When Seth says something like that, I’m sold.
Once again, I found myself transported back to the days of my youth. Hanging with the guys, playing sports, chasing girls, and cracking jokes the whole time. One more time, I found myself in a film where Linklater compresses time, heightens emotions, and uses a transitional period in people’s lives as a way of showing every viewpoint of this microcosm we call college, and just like in "Dazed and Confused,” the humor is spot on, the sentimentality warm, and the bullying and alienation is infuriating.
Variation on a Theme
So, if this is basically a rehash of themes and nostalgia parlor tricks that works pretty similar to “Dazed and Confused,” (D&C) then what is it about this film that I like better than that one?
First, the main character. In “Everybody Wants Some,” (EWS) Jake is so much more likable and relatable to most people that I imagine would be watching this film. Let’s face it, most freshman in high school probably shouldn’t be watching D&C and I, for one, found it hard to identify as much with that films protagonist because he was so young and a terrible actor on top of it.
In EWS though, Jake is a lot more like I was at that age and he’s a far better actor so I connected with him better.
Especially if you played sports in high school or college, this movie’s focus on the baseball team will really bring you back as they jab at each other, screw each other over, and make friends with the rest of the team. If you didn’t play sports, that’s ok. EWS is still more relatable than D&C because the characters are older, smarter, and have a lot more freedom to stretch their legs. They are more like adults and as most people will be seeing this either ads
Those are reasons why I like the film better but here’s why I think most people will like the film better. It’s about college. This makes a huge difference since most people seeing this movie will be college age or older when they do. There are other things that come with covering college as a subject that make it a better movie too.
The first weekend of college is awesome. Your first experiences as a high school freshman? Probably not so much.
High school is an interesting period to cover in a film, for sure, but EWS is fun in a way that D&C never really was for me. College is about freedom and, for the first time, being able to make your own decisions with no one to answer to for them. It’s a time for pushing boundaries and that’s what the kids in “Everybody Wants Some,” do. High school is about surviving and just getting by. That theme just isn’t nearly as fun as in EWS.
Where D&C has this air of kids lying low and sneaking around to have parties and hangouts, EWS is about kids who have just gotten out of that interminable waiting room we call high school, and are spreading their wings. This means lots of fun and laughter.
What more can you ask from a nostalgia piece than to transport you, make you feel young again, and keep you laughing all the way through?
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