For Reel

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
May 10, 2016, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Richard Linklater
4.5 Stars
Everybody Wants Some!!If Everybody Wants Some!! follows the same tangential, loosely-structure narrative of its spiritual predecessor Dazed and Confused, it plays like even more of a shaggy dog Odyssey, following a group of competitive idealists who navigate their way through a variety of social groups in search of sexual conquests. This atmosphere of shameless indulgence risks becoming predatory and merely crude in today’s comparatively sensitive culture (the picture argues that the 80s were a very, very different time), but Linklater is too smart of a filmmaker to tell a story of excess without waxing philosophical about it. That is not to say that the central characters lose themselves on their journey, but they do take moments here and there to tease each other for the false personas they put on in order to pick up women. Like Dazed and Confused, the film is remarkably good at finding sensitivity and sweetness in a social environment that often plays as cruel and predatory. If one resists the characters’ hazing, bullying, and even misogyny in the early goings, by the end of the picture there is a certain affection for their other traits, like Finnegan’s (Glen Powell) game-for-anything attitude. The late appearance of a love interest for the hero (Blake Jenner) is a bit of a misstep—the film argues for the couple’s cuteness too obviously, and Zoey Deutch plays her ideal quirky girl without enough of a sense of humanity (a nice exception: Linklater stages a scene in which she confidently invites Jenner to her room just before getting changed in a panic). But the picture feels as accomplished as its predecessor in the way that it navigates its social circles and slowly builds an affection for its characters, and Linklater’s predilection towards writing introspective thinkers is benefited by being juxtaposed with a group of characters who seem unlikely to be having these conversations.

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