“Everybody Wants Some!”
Directed by Richard Linklater
There is a very specific type of movie that most of us over the age of forty grew up with…the adolescent sex comedy. These films, which include “Porky’s”, “Screwballs”, “Hardbodies” and even “Animal House” predated the more recent”American Pie” series.
There have been some great parodies of the genre…most notably “Wet Hot American Summer.” But what makes “Wet Hot American Summer” work so well is that it goes after the heart and soul of these films…the characters and their interactions. It’s success and accuracy is a direct result of understanding and mimicking the feelings of these kids in a historical context, not in a historical vacuum.
“Everybody Wants Some!” mostly succeeds in this area. But, ultimately, where it fails is in its need to bash us over the head with how accurate all the STUFF is. The cars, the outfits, the video games, the outfits, the beer, the outfits, the archetypes, the outfits. Linklater spends so much effort on reminding us it’s September of 1980, that, by the time it ends, we’ve almost forgotten how charming (re: offensive, smart, loaded, “eighties”) the dialogue is and how quickly the endearing relationships fully form.
Also, as in most of Linklater’s films, there is no plot or third act to speak of. None. It doesn’t end so much as…stop. But the dialogue is REALLY hilarious…and, for the most part, of its era and the genre it purports to parody. On that level alone it’s worth watching in some form or another. But the real reason to see it is the DELIVERY of those lines. There are absolutely NO weak performances in this film. I’d like to single out a couple…but I can’t really. Blake Jenner is just as sweet, yet manly as he was in “Glee”. I dare you to not completely fall for Theater major, Beverly, played by the gorgeous Zoey Deutsch (of course, I’m biased, as I went to Theater school in the exact same era as the film takes place). And everyone on the baseball team that shares the house with our hero is spot on.
There is no score, but, as you would expect, the soundtrack is pretty great. It even includes Brian Eno’s “Third Uncle”, which means major points in my book! Some of the eighties stuff is a little too early. For instance, the film takes place in September of 1980, yet everyone at this Texas school seems to know all the words to “Rapper’s Delight”? Uh… Also punk rock is aggressively featured, and that seems a bit early for a Texas college filled with jocks and sorority girls. But, it’s a small complaint, mostly because I like all the music featured. (While we’re on the historically inaccurate train: everybody is doing all sorts of High Fives – which were first used less than a year before and NOT the norm for freshman country bumkins – so…)
Overall, I laughed like hell, but I have NO lasting impression of it whatsoever. I’m sure the kids will think it’s a really accurate slice of life from a world they know nothing about…but if you know about it, it’s simply a trifling with GREAT dialogue.
And not really at the level we’ve come to expect from a Linklater joint.