Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

I have not been going to the movie theater lately. This is because there are not many interesting movies in theaters right now. There are a couple of interesting films here and there but nothing that really grabs me. Everybody Wants Some!! is an exception to the tendency of mainstream films to be unappealing. I am surprised that my local Century theater is even showing the film. Perhaps living in Portland means that movie theaters must show more lesser known titles.

Everybody Wants Some!! is about college baseball players in the year 1980 on the last weekend before school begins. The movie feels like one big party. I loved it. The protagonist of the film is Jake, a pitcher and freshman who is wise beyond his years but still behaves like a typical twenty-something dude. He lives in a glorified frat house with the rest of his teammates. You get to watch these dudes in their unending search for booze and female companionship, which is a lot of fun in my opinion. Being a former baseball player I could relate to these dudes pretty easily and I found many of them likable personalities. The best thing about this film is the fully realized nature of its characters. The film lacks a clear character arc. Linklater is clearly trying to make a fun movie. Much like Dazed and Confused was following one night of shenanigans, Everybody Wants Some!! follows a weekend of shenanigans. You could look for moments of change in the characters but that would be missing the point. This film is meant to be fun and it doesn’t ascribe to typical techniques of storytelling.

I wish more movies were made like this one. It’s the perfect escape from the struggles of daily life. You can briefly escape to the world of these baseball players and look at them sort of like animals in a zoo. That may be a strange way to phrase it but thats how watching the movie felt for me and I loved every second of it. I could see this movie would be grating to some who would find the behavior of these dudes unpleasant. Everybody Wants Some!! is not for everyone.

I recently discovered Richard Linklater after watching Boyhood. I realized that he is one of the most interesting filmmakers working today and I consider myself lucky to be living while he is making films. Linklater has reached Tarantino status where his films are given mainstream exposure despite their lack of mainstream appeal. Linklater makes whatever he wants and we watch it because he is Richard Linklater, a filmmaker deemed important by the relevant authority. It’s easy to envision an alternate world where Linklater’s films never caught on but he would probably create the exact same films under those circumstances. It never feels like Everybody Wants Some!! is catering to you in the way that so many films do nowadays. The point of creating is to make things that you want. A prioritization of the Audience’s desires over the filmmaker’s is the defining feature of commercial art. I am happy that Linklater has not sold out despite his popularity.