Everybody Wants Some!! recalls the 80s from the perspective of an incoming freshman baseball player, Jake (Blake Jenner). We see him drive past campus leisurely, looking at college girls, before arriving at the house that he is to stay in over the year. The university has granted the baseball team two houses for the players to reside in. In a team meeting, the baseball coach tells the boys that there is to be no alcohol in the house and that girls aren’t allowed to be in the upper bedrooms. You might guess- correctly- that that very night the two rules are broken.
After Jake meets his garrulous housemates- one of which who is quick to inform him he hates pitchers (Jake’s position on the baseball team) – he joins a few of them in a car to go to campus and look for girls to party with. They drive by two girls unpacking a car who are quick to inform the boys that they are not interesting in partying with them. In their second attempt asking the same girls, one of them, Beverly (Zoey Deutch), declines their offer but notes that “the quiet one in the back”, Jake, is cute. Later Jake puts a note with flowers on her door. If his housemates caught wind of him doing this, he would be teased relentlessly.
The group of boys do whatever they can to pick up girls at parties. One of the boys describes their strategies as “adaptive” when Jake questions their playing dress-up to attend different social functions (disco club, country club, and punk rock concert). In the course of Everybody Wants Some!!, Finnegan (Glen Powell) attempts to speak about feminism, fake humility when discussing his “average-sized penis”, and discuss astrological signs in attempts to woo his conversation partners.
The members of the baseball team ascribe to the pack mentality. In a disco club, the whole team comes to the side of an obnoxious team member who provokes a fight and they take offense when Jake suggests that he is going by himself to a party that Beverly invites him to. Richard Linklater conveys a knowing understanding of frat-like mannerisms in writing Everybody Wants Some!!. His actors play a close-knit group of friends who are charming no matter their flaws or differences.
As a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!! is splendid. A few of its characters are akin to those in Dazed and Confused such as one that is similar to Wooderson, wishing to relieve his younger years as a college baseball player.
Everybody Wants Some!!, like Dazed and Confused, provides a rose-tinted view of the past. It is an overwhelmingly positive film where nothing negative happens to any of the baseball players. Some of Linklater’s films, in particular the Before trilogy and Boyhood, focus on aging and changes that occur in a person’s life. But in Everybody Wants Some!!, nothing changes from start to finish: it only depicts three days before college, not the entire year. We see too short of a timeline; the film is just part of a coming of age story.
What makes Everybody Wants Some!! the more relatable of the two films is that Linklater evokes nostalgia in prompting audiences to recall their experiences during the weekend before college. The bullying that occurs at the center of Dazed and Confused is more difficult to relate to since bullying is not as commonly present today.
Viewing adolescents drinking and searching for sexual partners isn’t entertaining to watch when set in the present time period. There are many lackluster films that share this plot. What is ingenious about Everybody Wants Some!! is that it possesses this exact same plot but succeeds because it is set in the past. Adult viewers can nostalgically remember their college experience in the 80’s and younger audience members can think about their present life- all that’s changed between the 80’s and now is the wardrobe; adolescent traits have remained exactly the same. Everybody Wants Some!! is a film for everyone. Now that everybody wants some!!