Movie: Everybody Wants Some
My Rating: 2 stars
I really didn’t like this movie. Unless a film is absolutely exquisite, creating a perfect blend of mood and atmosphere, I usually require a bit of a plot to be able to enjoy it. And, this film doesn’t even come close to accomplishing that. This movie aimlessly wanders through the days of a brand-new college freshman in the 80s. Our protagonist, Jake, is a baseball player, and he’s living in the team’s housing. We watch this kid meet new people, learn a new set of social rules, and figure out where he stands in the house’s pecking order. Then, there are all the foxy, sophisticated college girls to wrangle. The audience is placed in the same position as Jake, in that we’re meeting new people at the same rate he is, and are just as confused about what’s going on. The characters are interesting enough (or, as interesting as drunk, horny, teenage boys can be). But, the movie just couldn’t hold my interest because of the lack of a solid narrative.
Everyone who came of age in the 90s seems to have a soft spot in their hearts for Dazed and Confused, Linklater’s earlier film. There are probably a few reasons why we have such warm feelings for the movie. It came out during the most formative years of our lives. Middle schoolers and young high schoolers are very impressionable, and the characters in Dazed are presented as the paradigm of coolness and confidence. Also, teenagers haven’t really watched enough films to be able to distinguish between ones that are actually good, and ones that merely present themselves to the world as being profound. To be fair, I haven’t watched that movie in a very long time, but I seem to remember it being similar in format to this one. A bunch of cool, (younger) teenagers stumbling through a series of parties and awkward, first sexual encounters, and trying to figure out just exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. When that’s the stage of life that a kid is in, this kind of subject matter is very compelling. But, for an older (and no doubt, wiser) lady like myself, that format just gets a little tiresome.
Maybe this movie wasn’t intended for me. Maybe this movie really is just for a younger, less experienced audience. But, today’s teens don’t really have any context for understanding the 1980s in the United States. The movie presents itself as being a nostalgia piece for 80s kids, but it seems like the people who would be nostalgic for that era would have outgrown this style of movie long ago. I guess there are quite a few of those bro-ish, Linklateresqe, man-children running around in the world. And, if you’re the kind of guy who is intent on recapturing the glory of his college days, then this may be just the movie for you. Although, now that I’ve judged it so harshly, no one will dare to tell me if they actually enjoyed this movie.