By Tyler Obropta
This movie has a weird fascination with butts. The only other Richard Linklater films I’ve seen have been School of Rock (2003) and Boyhood (2014) and those didn’t have nearly as much attention placed on the derrière.
Everybody Wants Some!! doesn’t just occasionally have medium shots that dip a little below the waist. There are many, many shots of women’s posteriors. As many as in a Fast and Furious film, and then some. Men slap each other playfully on the butt, as do the women; the male characters are constantly talking about who has the most well-shaped butt; there’s a scene where the main character accidentally lifts his head into another character’s bare rear….
Now, it’s not creepy or anything like that. I completely understand Linklater painting his script with the raging, sex-hungry hormones of our cast of college jocks. But it’s just so excessive. Maybe it’s a thing about the era. What was it with the ‘80s and butts?
The leering, arse-obsessed young men at the core of this comedy are college baseball players. Our lead is freshman pitcher Jake, played by Blake Jenner and Blake Jenner’s chin. Everybody Wants Some!! chronicles with great vivacity Jake’s final weekend before college begins, a weekend that quickly becomes filled with more alcohol than Ernest Hemingway’s writing room, more rock-and-roll than your dad’s CD collection, and more weed than an Ithaca College dorm room on the weekend as Jake and his endearing, competitive cohorts strive to bed as many women and rock as many parties as the confines of reality will permit them.
His merry band of alcoholic party-fiend teammates is delightfully eccentric. These peculiarities work just as well to highlight the more normal characters, such as our lead, Jake, or his romantic interest, Beverly. The lovely Zoey Deutch brings a charming intelligence to Beverly, her voice cracking and bubbling on each line with a joyous, youthful fervor. She’s a marvel to watch, so much so that it’s genuinely a shame when Jake waves goodbye to Beverly and rejoins his baseball team.
As Dazed and Confused (1993) focused on trying to replicate and pay homage to an era, the ties Everybody Wants Some!! has to the 80s only run skin-deep, mostly in wardrobe and music choice. Linklater doesn’t indulge in any heavy drama, he doesn’t care about giving his characters depth and he most of all doesn’t care about telling a story.
It’s a blessing when a movie knows exactly what it’s trying to be and hits the mark just right: Everybody Wants Some!! is a fun and funny time about a bunch of dumb jocks and little else. It’s not trying to draw tears or win awards — unless, that is, some film society gives awards out for the Biggest Fascination with the Human Posterior. Everybody Wants Some!! would have that one in the bag.