Everybody Wants Some!!

April 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ½

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors in large part because he has shown a love for his characters and an ability to make them so deeply complex and human. This is especially noticeable in films like “Boyhood” and the “Before Sunrise” series. With “Everybody Wants Some,” he certainly shows that familiar optimistic view of humanity; his characters are all so generously portrayed that it’s hard to dislike any of them. However, lovable though they may be, deep they are not. This film has been called a sequel, of sorts, to “Dazed and Confused;” the 1993 film that put Linklater on the map. That story covers one day in the life of a group of high school students in 1976. Now, we have the story of one weekend in the life of a different group of college kids in 1980. They are the spiritual twins of those other kids, now all 4 years older. “Everybody” has “Dazed”‘s gentle and somewhat rambling good nature. Everybody is likable, if somewhat goofy, and they just hang around being young. But therein also lies the problem. This story has no story. It’s just a a series of almost random vignettes that all seem to be trying to capture some sense of what it meant to be young in 1980. Here we have a little disco; over there is some “Urban Cowboy;” how about a little “Rapper’s Delight?” Most of these moments are cute and sweet and sometimes funny but they don’t add up to much. By the end of the film, nothing feels as though it has had any weight and none of the people mean anything to me. I couldn’t help but think of the final moments of “Boyhood,” wherein the simplest scene was so poignant because that character was fully realized. As fun as this film was, it was all a bit insubstantial and I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. I guess have just come to expect so much more from Richard Linklater.

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