SXSW FILM 2016
By Linc Leifeste | March 20, 2016
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater
Starring: Blake Jenner, Zoe Deutch, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, Austin Amelio, Jonathan Breck, Juston Street, Will Brittain, Forrest Vickery, Temple Baker, J. Quinton Johnson
Watching Linklater’s latest, Everybody Wants Some!!, I came to the realization that, for me, Linklater’s genius lies in his being able to make s it all look so damn easy and carefree. Featuring a cast of unknowns, non-actors, and Austinites, the film feels lighthearted, sweet, thoughtful, nostalgic, simplistic, innocent, and most of all, damn fun. And while it is definitely all of the above, it’s also surprisingly insightful and there’s no way this film comes together as seamlessly as it does without the deft guiding touch of a master craftsman.
Billed as a sort of spiritual sequel to Linklater’s earlier classic, Dazed and Confused, the film could basically be described as almost a marriage of it and his remake of Bad News Bears. There’s baseball. There are a band of young (mostly) men and women in college just a few years later than the setting of Dazed. There’s a lot of beer, a lot of pot, a lot of partying, a lot of flirting and courting and tail-chasing and a whole lot of laughs. Also, there’s a bit of a plot in there (some freshman are trying to find their place on a college baseball team and on a college campus) but it’s almost superfluous.
The dialogue is witty and sharp and the film is perfectly cast, full of characters that if you grew up in Texas in the 70’s and 80’s (or probably if you grew up anywhere), you’ll be sure to recognize and to love and to disdain and to root for and against but most of all you’ll likely find yourself responding with something in way too short supply these days: empathy. In my estimation, Linklater’s greatest accomplishment with this film is his ability to draw us in, to fully invest us in caring about and respecting these characters, in the process bringing us to the realization that the distance between the jocks and theater types and punks and rednecks and between you and me and all the “others” is not nearly so great as we’ve always been led to believe.