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EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! Review: Will You Want Some, Too??

This weekend sees the release of writer/director Richard Linklater’s EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!, the spiritual sequel of his 1993 cult classic DAZED AND CONFUSED, but does it live up to the hype and awesomeness of its predecessor?

Richard Linklater has repeatedly proven himself worthy behind the camera and creating for it, most recently with the multi-Oscar-winning BOYHOOD. But early on he built a devoted fanbase for DAZED AND CONFUSED, a comedy about kids navigating a pot-fueled last day of high school in 1976 that sported the tagline “See it with a bud”.  Now he offers another series of flashbacks, this time building the slice-of-life story around the first days at college before classes start for a group of baseball players in 1980. As a film that captures a moment and experience in time with perfect detail, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! is spot-on. All people who got into relatively harmless trouble in their youth, especially those between the ages of 45 and 60, will rarely stop laughing or smiling, but it can also be appreciated by all adult fans of both comedy and the art of making bad decisions that leave a trail of broken windows, empty cans, and rolling papers.

The film is deceptively nonchalant about a seminal time in everyone’s life, when every decision seems both meaningless and terrifyingly important, a time when how we are seen by others seems so essential to moving forward with our goals. Through conversations and interactions that span from ill humored or aggressive posturing, to fraternal and compassionate mutual support, there are multiple layers about being real, accepting lessons, and choosing to just get on with it, whatever “it” is.  In that way, it is universal.  All this, however, is couched firmly in all things nostalgic of 1980, down to boys in bad facial hair, cut-off shorts, and bubble-font t-shirts, trying to get girlie action, and sucking on bongs and beer-shots to an absolutely perfect soundtrack, which should break download records, or better yet fly off the shelves of vinyl shops nationwide.

As with DAZED AND CONFUSED, which introduced breakout star Matthew McConaughey, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! features a great ensemble cast sure to bring several rising stars to greater attention of Hollywood’s casting agents.  Most notable are Blake Jenner as freshman everyman Jake, Wyatt Russell as Willoughby the stoned philosopher, Glen Powell as motormouth Finnegan, J. Quinton Johnson as the voice of reason, and Zoey Deutch as Beverly, the sweet yet savvy drama nerd, but the entire cast is memorable, and those who take this film to heart will find their own favorites. For fun, check out the cast pictures on IMDB after you see the film. It will show you just how far they stretch their looks and demeanor for their roles.

Yes, Everybody Wants Some!! is very funny, but sink into it.  It’s so much deeper than the beer and bong water it’s steeped in.