College is a time of transition. It’s when people finally move out of their childhood homes and attempt to tackle the world without any adult supervision. College students are in that grey area between childhood and adulthood and this is often the time that people discover who they really are. So it makes sense that Richard Linklater’s follow-up to the ambitious and affecting Boyhood is Everybody Wants Some!!, a lighthearted look at a college baseball team on the weekend before classes begin. A spiritual successor to Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, this is another great “hanging out” movie. We don’t need plot or conflict; all we need is great characters, good conversations and a fun time.

We’re introduced to Jake (Blake Jenner) as he’s driving towards his first year of college in late summer of 1980. His car is loaded up with his belongings and he’s confidently cruising down the road while blasting The Knack’s “My Sharona”. Jake is a young pitcher who was the star of his high school baseball team. But now he’s moving onto college, where everybody on the team was the best player at their high school. He moves into a house with his fellow teammates and gets to know them on the weekend before classes begin. Along with the team’s leader Finnegan (Glen Powell) Jake and his buddies spend their days goofing around and their nights partying and picking up women. Jake develops a crush on a fellow coed named Beverly (Zoey Deutch), all the while trying to figure out his place on the team and in the world.

More than any other director, Linklater has mastered the art of the plotless movie. While most filmmakers feel the need to inject some sort of conflict in their stories, Linklater knows that this isn’t always true of real life. We don’t spend every waking minute trying to solve some sort of drama or developing a solution to an ever increasing problem. A lot of life is just spending time with other people and Linklater seems to understand that these can be the moments that have the most profound impact on us. Everybody Wants Some!! is essentially this idea boiled down to an entire weekend. We watch as Jake and his buddies play Ping-Pong, go to parties, drink beer, smoke weed and just have a good time. It’s essentially a nonstop party for the film’s two-hour runtime with enough interesting conversations that elevate it above most modern comedies.

The ensemble cast is filled of mostly unknowns, so it’s pretty surprising just how stellar everyone is. Blake Jenner is likable and reserved in a way that perfectly suits his character. He’s certainly not the most interesting person on the team, but he’s definitely the most relatable. The relationship that develops between himself and Zoey Deutch’s character is nothing short of adorable. Speaking of, Deutch is an absolute delight, managing to stand out amongst the guys and developing a character that is easy to fall in love with. Don’t be surprised when she turns into a big star. But the best character has to be Glen Powell’s Finnegan, a jock who manages to break every stereotype that’s usually associated with athletes. In a way, he becomes a father figure to Jake, helping him through the first few days of college before finally turning him loose. The cast is filled with so many characters who you would want to hangout with in real life, but none so more than Finnegan.

It’s noted by Jake that the guys on the baseball team seem to conform their personalities to whatever situation is around them. At one point the dress up in their best disco attire, the next night they’re trying to be cowboys at a honky-tonk and eventually their rocking out at a punk show. These guys are still trying to figure out who they are and they’re using these parties to find their place in the world. We go into college thinking we’re one type of person, but often come out the other side with a totally different perspective. Aside from a degree, college is about two things: self-discovery and parties. Everybody Wants Some!! effortlessly captures the feeling of both.

Everybody Wants Some!! receives 4/4

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