Everybody Wants Some!!

Take a trip down memory lane driving your Oldsmobile 442 and listening to 8-Track tapes with a carton of LPs in the back, and relive your college days with Richard Linklater’s new time machine Everybody Wants Some!!

Just as a new generation of filmmakers is affectionately recalling their adolescent school days with musical tribute films like Northern Soul (2014), Pride (2015) and Sing Street (2016), comes Richard Linklater’s new coming-of-age nostalgia film taking full advantage of a wide variety of some of the best music from 1980.

Self-taught Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater is the cinematic voice of a generation who grew up in the 70s and 80s. His first big hit Dazed and Confused (1991) followed the adventures of an ensemble group of high schoolers during the last days of school in 1976. Like George Lucas before him who spoke to a generation that grew up in the late 50s and early 60s with American Graffiti (1973), Linklater’s film brought on the full nostalgic experience with the music, fashion, haircuts and jargon of the 70s.

According to Linklater, Everybody Wants Some!! is a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused (1993), in that it follows Jake Bradford (Blake Jenner), and a group of college freshmen as they prepare for the next phase in their journey toward adulthood. Many of the characters and situations are based on real people and experiences that Linklater knew or heard about in his own Texas school.

With his new film Everybody Wants Some!! Linklater continues to develop his improvisational style with a similar ensemble cast of young freshmen students during three days leading up to the start of college in late summer of 1980. The film is a collage of familiar iconic moments and characters that’s packed with the fashion, cars, technology and wall-to-wall music, instantly sending us back in time.

The film is permeated with all things baseball, and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a baseball film. Jake was a star pitcher and everyone in the house is on the college state baseball team, but we never see them actually playing a ball game except for a practice game once in the film. For most of the time the film focuses on typical college frat house activities.

Taking its title from a song off Van Halen’s 1980 album Women and Children First, Everybody Wants Some!! is a fun, rowdy comedy that has such a calm easygoing groove, giving us time to experience the full nostalgia of the mood being created. You almost feel like the filmmakers were high on weed during the filming, but rest assured that we’re in good hands with Linklater’s confident direction. 

One of the film’s strengths is the hilarious testosterone induced performances of the young ensemble cast which are completely natural and appropriate for the time. As we get to know the characters while they bond and settle into their new campus life, we are treated to some wonderful on-screen chemistry and camaraderie between the energetic cast members.

This being 1980, we get to see a variety of school cliques that were culturally significant during this period in time, including the diminishing Disco scene, the country western music crowd, the arrival of punk and new wave, and the artsy theatre crowd who each have their own iconography, fashion styles and musical influences.

Taking up where Linklater’s award winning film Boyhood (2014) left off, we get the full 80s college experience. For those who grew up during this time, this film will be a trip to remember.


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