Everybody Wants Some!! – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

everybody wants someEverybody Wants Some!! – 3.5/5 – Stories are lavishing tales that can be told in many different ways. When it comes to the context of a story, there is usually some kind of focal point to create a basic through line from beginning to the end.  Along with this, you have to have main character(s) to create some form of relevancy for the through line.  Richard Linklater, the writer and director of this film, doesn’t rely on these basic elements.  When he tells a story, he imbues a style that relies on two things; realism and dialogue.  Everybody Wants Some is consider a ‘spiritual’ sequel to Dazed and Confused; one that creates that feeling of being at a certain place in a certain era.  Through some witty dialogue, intriguing characters and a directionless plot; Everybody Wants Some is a story that drives home the feeling of wonder of living the college life once again.

Premise: A group of guys navigate through the wild and crazy world of college life in the 1980s.

This film follows in the same vein of the director’s previous films by using a mixture of actors/actresses.  Linklater is known for using a big ensemble cast.  If you want a list of who are the actors/actresses, you can refer to the IMDB page.  Overall, the ensemble cast does a great job in providing worth and excitement throughout the film.  From the onset; you get a genuine feel of all the people on screen.  There is an infusion of fluidity with the realistic setting of the college life in the 1980s.  The realism and organic nature of everyone makes you feel as if you’re part of the group.  At first, a lot of the side characters can come off as cliché when you meet them in the beginning.  This eventually changes as the film moves along.  The pseudo-like feeling that occurs is to help bring an aspect of what and why the archetypes are being used.  The director uses this as an advantage to engross the audience in a ‘top layer’ fashion.  This creates specific niches that become the distinct qualities of the individuals.  With the added ‘open ended’ like direction; they shine through multiple layers.  This creates standout performances with a mixture of colorful, obnoxious and fun loving situations.  This gives you a ‘homely’ vibe of living and being part of this ‘era’ style film.

The direction goes along a very loose like fashion.  In laymen terms, it is basically a directionless plot.  Linklater is known to use this concept; as there is no real purpose, motivation or aspect of tonal derivative to create any kind of atmosphere.  You might think this is an unapproachable type of technique, but what this does is create another aspect to focus on.  With the directionless plot mechanism, it brings out a different kind of meaningfulness through the art of dialogue.  The dialogue is created from through originality of the script.  This allows for a different through line in an even flow like fashion.  There’s no loose plot holes, unwanted scenarios or forced plot devices to create an ‘A to B’ like narrative.  What happens is conversation driven situations that create a pseudo ‘living’ atmosphere.  Like some of his standout films like Dazed and Confused and Boyhood; you feel the narrative enraptured by the essences of humanism.  There is a sense of retrospective of who are the characters, and how they are living this ‘college life’ in the 1980s.  A sensible approach to characters being real; it creates a place of wonder, excitement, experience and passion.  You have a lot of emotional moments that are layered through witty situations, comical hijinks and the comradery of being with your ‘boys’.  With no real plot to ‘box in’ the characters, you have an organic like approach to the growth of the main group of characters.  As mentioned, this film focuses on a group of guys as they live the college life of the 1980s.  For the first part of the film, there is a stroke of the nostalgia within the simple concept of the ‘fish out of water’ plot device.  As this film is driven by the script, this common layering gives you a window into the era.  You have some typical archetypes of:

Frat boys

College life

The 1980s

This mixture helps build up the niche of what is going on.  The film feels slightly predictable at first, but as mentioned before, this helps bring you for what is going to happen.  Once we get to the second half, you feel the realism unfold from the cliché layering.  There is a stark transition into the conversational elements between the characters.  You get to see monologues in this latter part that develop a deeper connection through friendship.  No matter what the topic of discussion, you get an understanding of who, what, where and why things are happening.  With no real story, the focus on the humanistic aspect helps create the idea of ‘life’ and ‘living’ in college in the 1980s.  The aspect helps build the sensation; where you feel the fun, excitement and disappointments that happen to each of the characters.  Once we get to the climax, it ends as you came in.  You leave with a low key ‘sendoff’ approach; creating a place where there is a new day for everyone, and new challenges ahead.

The visuals of the film are given a simple complexion.  There is no posturing of the era; just a blending of a naturalistic like setting.  Instead of it screaming ‘this is the 1980s’, the film invites you through the aesthetic appeal.  From the cars, clothing, community and the social gatherings; it’s simple and approachable.  You are an observer who eventually becomes part of this world.  The score is somewhat subdued, but is fluid like the rest of the film.  It is a mixture of tracks from the 1980s, along with some lesser ‘low-key’ musical elements.  There is no attractiveness or distraction found in the music.  The 1980’s tracks add to the flavor of the film; while the instrumental aspects stay in the background.

Everybody Wants Some in an indie film that gives you an aura of individualism.  Richard Linklater gives you an experience that is unique as the setting.   If you’re a fan of indie films, original storytelling and character driven plots; this is one for you.   I recommend this for an outing with friends; a good movie to watch for the weekend.

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