Austin Amelio, Tyler Hoechlin and Glen Powell in Everybody Wants Some!! (Photo: Paramount)
EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
★★★ (out of four)
DIRECTED BY Richard Linklater
STARS Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch
Everybody who wants some MTV, some Family Ties, some Purple Rain (R.I.P. Prince; to paraphrase Horatio to Hamlet, goodnight, sweet Prince, and flights of doves sing thee to thy rest), and some Maverick declaring his need for speed won’t find anything of the sort in Everybody Wants Some!! Promoted as an ’80s version of writer-director Richard Linklater’s charmer about the 1970s, 1993’s Dazed and Confused, it’s actually more of a companion piece — since it’s set in 1980, it therefore captures the look and feel of the last gasps of the previous decade. After all, the 1980s we all know and love didn’t really ripen for another couple of years; check out 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine for that representation.
Yet while Linklater’s new film might disappoint those about to break out their parachute pants and Members Only jackets to celebrate its opening, it will prove to be irresistible to those who don’t need nothin’ but a good time. Taking place on the final days before classes begin in the fall, the movie follows affable freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) as he meets his fellow college baseball players (all shacked up in the same house) and falls for theater major Beverly (Zoey Deutch, playing basically the same role she essayed in that recent dirty diaper of a movie, Dirty Grandpa).
There isn’t much narrative momentum — no established third-act structure — to the picture, which is perfectly fine. Rather than drumming up some movie-manufactured nonsense like a championship game to win as underdogs or a mystery for these meddling kids to solve with the aid of some doobie snacks, Linklater just has these students hanging out, with their greatest challenge turning out to be whether to attend a party or not. It may be slight, but it’s also very funny, occasionally insightful, and a welcome throwback to those hallowed school daze.