Always beware two exclamation marks. Advice to be observed, along with avoiding any films or plays with the dreaded words ‘written and directed by.’ Sadly, US indie master Richard Linklater manages to break both those rules with his new movie.
Everybody wants Some!! is his first film since 2013’s critically acclaimed Boyhood. It’s billed by Linklater himself as a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, which focused on teenagers celebrating the last day of high school.
This frat boy arthouse flick will definitely appeal to any unreconstructed male, especially 50-somethings, as it’s set securely in the summer of 1980. It has many manly moustaches and painfully short shorts; it’s been acclaimed as perceptive, intelligent and even as a very funny step back into 1980s’ college dorm life. It may be a gender thing, but if you like drinking beer, playing ping-pong, getting stoned and making misogynist jokes, join the baseball jocks and it could be the big hit from the hubble bubble pipe for you.
Dude, it purports to be a blast, made by a 55 year-old film-maker, who himself says that the late 1970s and 80s were ‘a pretty, raunchy, crazy time.’ Granted, there is also a certain amount of fun poked at the primping males and an acknowledged (by Linklater) gay sensibility, that offers a little more intelligence than some of the shlock.
Fibre for the mush, if you like, but I think you need more than watered-down disco, cod country and pallid punk for a plot.
One highlight, however, was Alternative Ulster blasting out on the soundtrack in the punk section. The jocks party hard, endure bullying, ritual humiliation and painful initiation rites, whilst trying to meet girls and navigate their way through the new responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. Jake (Blake Jenner) is the freshman at a Texan college, with baseball team roomies Glen Powell, Tyler Hoechlin, Temple Baker and Wyatt (son of Kurt) Russell.
Speaking personally, however, I’d like the 117 minutes of my life back, that it took to meander through the plotless and pointless interaction of the rowdy young jocks, as they enjoy their first weekend before college commences.
And if you’d like more than one rounded female character, (Zoey Deutch, who plays fine art student Beverly) you are watching the wrong movie. Let’s just add girls mud-wrestling in their underwear to the mix. Really Richard?
by Liz Kennedy
Everybody Wants Some!! (certificate 15a) will screen at QFT from May 13 -26.