Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

casey What a steaming pile of boring nonsense for washed up boomer jocks.

brooke I hated this movie. I think I guffawed once or twice, but it was because the jokes were so bad that I couldn’t believe someone took the effort to write them down

casey I don’t think I hated it so much as I found it incredibly tedious, like someone took every college movie montage ever made said “Screw it, let’s do that for a whole movie.” It’s two hours of self-congratulatory, boozy frat boy nostalgia.

brooke There’s not even really enough to pull off a decent plot summary because the movie only bothered to teach me two names and a host of bad nicknames, but I’ll try to do it anyway…
Everybody Wants Some!! follows freshman Jake (Blake Jenner), a pitcher recuited for Southeast Texas college’s baseball team. The opening scene shows him moving into the house where the team members all live. Then he meets his teammates, undergoes some hazing, attends a number of parties has his first practice, and meets a girl.

casey That is the least effort you could possibly put into a summary, but it’s not like the movie did much more. That bare outline is filled with an indistinct blur of the players establishing a social order among themselves in various circumstances, mostly involving parties or preparing for parties. The lack of plot is clearly meant to be a feature, not a bug, but it was one reason I barely connected with any of it.

brooke It wasn’t even funny-bad!

casey Credit where it’s due, there were a few things I liked:
1. One of the players, a senior named Finn (Glen Powell), is a pretty great. He’s funny, and he’s the only member of the team besides Jake with some self awareness about their constant, ridiculous posturing, and he often operates on a meta level of commenting on the stupidity as he happily takes part in it (Jake, meanwhile, seems to share that attitude, but mostly just goes with the flow). There’s one particularly good scene scene where Finn reprimands the others for behaving badly at a party thrown by theater kids, and he gets most of the funniest lines to boot. He’s a solid character in an aimless movie.
2. The scenes with Jake and Beverly (Zoey Deutch) are good and almost seem like part of an actual story; unfortunately it’s all crammed into the movie’s last hour and we barely get to know her, so the relationship feels half-baked at best.
3. Some of the interactions between the players are entertaining in the same way that certain people are funny for about five minutes, then exhausting for every second beyond that.

brooke I half disagree with you on the first point but I can see what you mean, and I agree with you about Zoey. Also, the costumes are well done and the soundtrack is solid, but those floating pieces of decent movie never come together in a way that made me feel like it was worth watching.

casey I’m sure there’s plenty to tease out about masculinity and college life if that’s your thing, although I think the idea that unsupervised young men engage in rampant assholery and bond through pseudo philosophizing is already well established. And honestly, I’m not willing to give Richard Linklater that much credit: I think he wanted to make a rosy retrospective about hangin’ with the boys and chasin’ pussy before class. I guess he succeeded there.

brooke There’s nothing I saw to care about. Maybe if it had started with the third act it could have been a more interesting story about balancing male friendships with romance.
There was a lot of repetitive stuff that got annoying, like how every guy on the college team was the best on their high school team, which came up over and over. Once or twice would have sufficed, thanks.

casey I think in a different universe the same characters could have been used to tell a coherent story that I might have enjoyed. Or maybe it would’ve worked as a hangout movie if I liked, you know, hanging out with the characters. It’s not that I disliked every minute of Everybody Wants Some!!, it’s that I was never all that interested in engaging with what the movie wanted to do.

brooke A lot of people like this kind of movie, and whatever, that’s fine. In the end I think it makes the same assumptions that the ball players make about the people around them: that everybody wants some of them…but some of us don’t want any.


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