Back in 1993 Richard Linklater’s iconic film Dazed and Confused gave audiences a nostalgic experience of the back-end of High School in the US in 1976. The film was riddled with surprisingly sage words preached by one high and drunk teenager character to another – a structured development on Slacker’s meandering camera – that perfectly portrayed the ideas, the hopes, the fears and the humour of its characters. It was insightful, charming, funny – everything I want to be – and in Everybody Wants some!!, Dazed’s proclaimed spiritual successor, Linklater tries it all on again with college students in the 80s and based on his track record, unsurprisingly he makes it work.
Rocking a largely no-name cast and set in a city I can’t remember where, Linklater brings back the 80s like he remembered it. Like in several of his previous works, a handpicked soundtrack accompanies the booty-chasing, ball-playing antics of an extremely athletic house. These guys were all high school superstars – big fish in small ponds – and are now forced together in a falling apart, donated college house in the suburbs; they live like you’d expect; bending the rules, respecting tradition, throwing insults, getting girls..
As someone who’s had a university experience I found the little knowledge bombs interesting. Of course, and this goes for most of Linklater’s repertoire and most films in general, no college kids are full of that much wisdom (though, at least in most cases, wisdom was passed down from the older members of the team to the young’uns) but some of it really did feel wise. In the beginning the guys are cheekily harassing some attractive new arrivals out the window of their party wagon, nothing works but eventually one admits she found the silent guy in the back cute. Later, once more of a relationship has been established between the two star-crossed lovers she admits she’d never of made her remark if the lads weren’t so damn laddy and got her talking. Some (ex-)students might of considered the cat-calling, the pick-up attempts rude and insensitive but it all resulted in something beautiful, a relationship, for two of the participants. These guys just had to be on the ball team, others could just wear a college hoody for their chit-chat initiation tool – get talking, it’s all in the conversation, life.
The film’s got tonnes of energy. The costumes change as frequently as the lads swap their favourite bars; one looking like the opening joint in Boogie Nights, another the bar in Midnight Cowboy. It’s beautifully plotless, just documenting the “Freshers” few days, a clock counts down until class starts – halfway through I wished for time to pass slower.
All in all, it’s another unadulterated Linklater special with no special effects, no excessive anything, just a nostalgic and slightly unrealistic depiction of idyllic American higher education society in the 80s (so lots of funky shirts).
I had me at Linklater.