“Everybody Wants Some!!” is best film of the year

Left to right: Blake Jenner plays Jake, Glen Powell plays Finnegan, Temple Baker plays Plummer and Forrest Vickery plays Coma in Everybody Wants Some from Paramount Pictures and Annapurna Pictures.

Van Redin

Left to right: Blake Jenner plays Jake, Glen Powell plays Finnegan, Temple Baker plays Plummer and Forrest Vickery plays Coma in Everybody Wants Some from Paramount Pictures and Annapurna Pictures.

Christopher Walker, Editor-in-Chief

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Richard Linklater, director of 2016’s best film “Everybody Wants Some!!,” is primarily known for two of his earlier iconic movies: “Dazed and Confused” (1993) and “Boyhood” (2014). Both are hard to interpret as anything but semi-autobiographical, as they are both male coming-of-age stories and deal with the time period one grows up in shapes who one is.

In “Everybody Wants Some!!,” a college baseball team hangs out during the last three days of summer. There is no house to save like in “Animal House,” no big game to win like in “Friday Night Lights.” There is only a team practicing baseball during the day, goofing around during the afternoon, and trying to pick up girls at night.

When asked to pick his top 10 favorite films of all time, Quentin Tarantino listed Linklater’s previous work, “Dazed and Confused,” describing it as “hanging out with your best friends you haven’t seen in a couple of years for a few hours.” And that holds true for this film: these characters are lovable baseball players enjoying their youth and caring for one another in a fraternal manner.

Richard Linklater’s films aren’t typical; they don’t rely on standard Hollywood plot structure. They contain no consecutive act sequences. Although there is tension and dialogue in each scene, it appears that events continuously happen one after another. But these characters are so unfathomably well-written, unthinkably well-cast with wonderful actors, that there is no other way to describe this film than the work of a genius.

Although there is an unmistakable similarity of tone between the two works, I don’t recommend “Dazed and Confused” to young adults. I understand why those who went to high school in the 1970s enjoy the work, that reflects their lives, but for students who attended high school in the early 2010s, “Dazed and Confused” does not strike a chord.

Nowadays, high school is not looked upon as the end-all-be-all it was to many people in the ‘70s. The characters meditate on their youth and the adulthood that followed, wishing they could go back and do it all again. It comes across as sad. “Dazed and Confused,” for our generation, falls flat.

And one can’t help but wonder if Linklater is aware of this and decided to update his old film, essentially creating “Dazed and Confused” for this generation. If he did, I’m eternally grateful. “Everybody Wants Some!!” contains some of the most fully realized, hilarious, heartwarming characters in cinema history. It is an absolute delight from start to finish.

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