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With: Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, Austin Amelio, Temple Baker, Tanner Kalina, Juston Street, Forrest Vickery
Written by: Richard Linklater
Directed by: Richard Linklater
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity
Running Time: 116
Date: 03/29/2016

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Your Inner Strange

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With laid-back ease and an organic understanding of characters and dialogue, Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) has crafted an excellent, breezy, highly enjoyable comedy, albeit one that showcases bad behavior. The college-bound characters are unsupervised for the first time, sowing their wild oats, naïve in many ways but wise in many others. It's like a more thoughtful version of Meatballs or Wet Hot American Summer. In addition to talking about sex and playing jokes on one another, they discuss concepts of being oneself as well as becoming part of a team.

In 1980, Jake (Blake Jenner) is a freshman at a big Texas university, and a new pitcher on the school's champion baseball team. In the days leading up to the first day of school, he meets his teammates, including the charmingly verbose Finn (Glen Powell); the team's only black player, Dale (J. Quinton Johnson); and the philosophical, pot-smoker Willoughby (Wyatt Russell). They go to a disco, to a country bar, to a punk rock show, and to a party thrown by theater and dance students, drink great quantities of beer, and try to pick up girls. Occasionally, they even practice some baseball. Meanwhile, Jake has met someone he'd like to spend some quality time with, Beverly (Zoey Deutch), in spite of his teammates' razzing and teasing.

Like its spiritual predecessor, Linklater's Dazed and Confused (1993), Everybody Wants Some!! is virtually plotless, with the possible exception that we're rooting for newcomer hero Jake (Blake Jenner) to win the girl Beverly (Zoey Deutch), but it moves beautifully, reveling in time and place and character nuance, and generally enjoying itself in particular and life in general. It's very funny, not a bit of it unnecessary or out of place, and you don't want it to end.

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