Baseball, bacchanalia and beauty in Linklater’s ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’

Video still via Everybody Wants Some
Video still from Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some!!

FilmScene — Through Thursday, May 19

Nostalgia is a powerful drug. So powerful in fact that many find themselves enthralled with nostalgic feelings even for the times they never knew. And anybody who has viewed the work of Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, 1993; Boyhood, 2014) has felt the effect of nostalgia’s high. His most recent film, Everybody Wants Some!!showing at FilmScene through May 19 — is an especially potent strain of ‘80s college sentiment.

Video still via Everybody Wants Some
Video still from Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some follows the days preceding the start of the semester for the teammates of the Southeast Texas Cherokees baseball team. The film begins with incoming freshman and pitcher Jake (Blake Jenner) cruising into town and through campus, windows down, blaring “My Sharona” by The Knack. He parks out front of the baseball house and mounts the porch with a crate of vinyl, and Jake and the audience are then introduced to a memorable ensemble of jocks. Upperclassmen Dale (J. Quinton Johnson) and Finnegan (Glen Powell) provide unsolicited mentorship to the freshmen, showing Jake the ropes on and off the field.

Many of the canonical tropes of college films are covered over the span of the film’s 117 minute runtime. The teammates hit the bars (a disco hall, a honky-tonk, a punk show) and throw parties of their own; they experiment with drugs and alcohol, experience romance. The players are at times repulsive but ultimately lovable, they are competitive and sometimes cruel to one another, while also compassionate and loyal to their teammates.

Video still via Everybody Wants Some
Video still from Everybody Wants Some!!

I guess it was the humanity of this film that really appealed this viewer. I for sure had my hackles up, was armed with plenty of judgments regarding another film romanticizing a culture meatheads and misogynists, but the humor and tenderness of the cast really hit the mark. The sacred bubbles up amid the profane in little moments: A scene where Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), the transfer pitcher, talks Carl Sagan with his teammates while jamming to Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” Freshman Brumley (Tanner Kalina) borrows an upperclassmen’s cologne and dribbles it down his shorts. Jake and Beverly (Zoey Deutch) float in innertubes on a green river at dawn, contemplating the miracle of what it means to feel passion.

Video still via Everybody Wants Some
Video still via Everybody Wants Some!!

An afternoon enjoying some nostalgic feels while watching Everybody Wants Some!! at FilmScene is time well spent. Not to mention, the soundtrack is fun:

“My Sharona” – The Knack
“Heart Of Glass” – Blondie
“Take Your Time (Do It Right)” – SOS Band
“Heartbreaker” – Pat Benatar
“Every 1’s A Winner” – Hot Chocolate
“Alternative Ulster” – Stiff Little Fingers
“Everybody Wants Some!!” – Van Halen
“Let’s Get Serious” – Jermaine Jackson
“Pop Muzik” – M
“Because The Night” – Patti Smith Group
“I Want You To Want Me (Live)” – Cheap Trick
“Rough Boys” – Pete Townshend
“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” -Van Halen
“Bad Girls” -Donna Summer
“Hand In Hand” – Dire Straits
“Whip It” – Devo
“I’m Bad (I’m Nationwide)” -ZZ Top
“Maybe I’m a Fool” -Eddie Money
“Romeo’s Tune” – Steve Forbert
“Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” – Parliament
“Driver’s Seat” – Sniff ‘n’ The Tears
“Good Times Roll” – The Cars
“Rapper’s Delight” – The Sugar Hill Gang

DID YOU KNOW? Zoey Deutch comes from youth nostalgia film royalty. Her father Howard directed John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful, and her mother, Lea Thompson, played Marty McFly’s mother, Lorraine Baines-McFly!

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