Title: Everybody Wants Some!!
Director/Writer: Richard Linklater
Cinematography: Shane F. Kelly
J. Quinton Johnson
Starkly in contrast with his twelve-year-in-the-making passion project BOYHOOD (2014), Richard Linklater’s newest feature is a nostalgically buoyant jock romp demarcates its time-line strictly within a stretch from Thursday to Monday before the college starts, and conceptually also spiritually a continuation after BOYHOOD or even DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993).
Linklater steps into a familiar adolescent territory with the arrival of a freshman Jake (Jenner) in the fall of 1980, who moves into the boarding house shared with other baseball team members, either freshmen or seniors. Partying, bar-dancing, flirting with and bedding college girls, fraternal bonding and competition, booze and marijuana, hazing and of course, baseball training, routinely constitute their entire life, it is hearty for Linklater to revisit that particular time with a dedicated detail and nonchalance, but our inner voice demurs, because, by a larger extent, when we look back that particular phase dominated by youthful, hormone-driven tomfoolery, what overwhelms us is how gormless and clueless we were, yet most people cannot avoid it, do the exact stupid things and learn from the experience afterwards, which in the movie’s context, looms even larger among the male-exclusive athletic clique, the whole devise doesn’t attempt to construct a more empathetic appeal as BOYHOOD masterfully did, only those who experiences the similar scenario and enjoys it can true appreciate the story just because for the old time’s sake, otherwise, the rambunctious frolic fails to find a requisite resonance with a wider, maturer audience.
Another wanting nugget is Linklater’s insightful dialogue, which has inexorably coursed his BEFORE trilogy into transcendent gabfest, but in EWS!!, scarcely any remotely cerebral or intriguing conversation can be generated among these jockstraps, only Wyatt Russell’s Charlie Willoughby tries to act like a wiseman, then it turns out that he is long in the tooth to stay put in that age group. Jake is a personable naif, and well before his college days even kicks off, he has already found himself a prepossessing sweetheart Beverly (Deutsch), a freshwoman majors in performing arts, what a perfect match! There is something so therapeutically fairytale-ish that one cannot really shoot sideswipes too tartly to this vacuous entity
The eclectic soundtrack might be the most enthralling takeaway of the film, the movie’s title is borrowed from a Van Halen hit, and from MY SHARONA, to HEART OF GLASS and RAPPER’S DELIGHT, whether diegetic or not, this mixtape truly rocks. To conclude, EWS!! disappoints because in lieu of being stimulated by the enormous acceptance of BOYHOOD to venture into something more audacious and universally entrancing, apparently Linklater still luxuriates in his well-oiled business which has been cooped him up as a somewhat region-specific auteur ever since the inception of his career. But for his hard-core followers, that is not bad news at all, to each his own, there is always a corresponding niche for every cinephile predilection.