Certain movies don’t always translate well to all age groups. We have talked before in movies like Terence Malick’s Tree of Life or To The Wonder where a younger audience member without the life experience cannot interpret the images in the same way someone in (cough) middle age would. As an aside, a real life example of this happened in seeing the musical play If/Then a week ago. There is a scene where the main character makes a decision to kiss a very married man who she is working with and a younger woman in the audience behind us made an audible gasp, and was shocked by the behaviour. This was a moments where when you are 22yo, life is more black and white, while when you get older there is a lot more grey. But I digress…
Everybody Wants Some is the new Richard Linklater film set in the 80s on a Texas college campus just days before the beginning a classes around early 1980s. There is a fraternity of baseball players and the movie shows a rookie joining in. Linklater did Boyhood, but also the Before Sunrise series of films, and Me and Orson Welles (I do like some of his work). This is kind of a sequel to Dazed and Confused set in the 70s, also. And to follow up on the point made earlier, the 22 yo watching this won’t relate to a phone cord stretching into a single dorm room, and someone having a $300+ phone bill. Phone cord?! What’s that?! They won’t laugh at the hair styles and the too-tight short shorts the guys are wearing. So there are some nostalgic moments of going back to the 80s. This film is a series of scenes with these young men (18-23yo) who have facial hair that men much older would envy, but who are getting through the few days left before class (which is periodically addressed by countdown reference at various times). You get to know the guys in the dorm, and the girls that they like and how they act. There is Animal House type hijinx and some clever and funny practical jokes. There is also conversation about very little – and times of being rather slow. As you jump from one sequence to the next, some are funny, some are less so. There are times of reflection on where they all fit in, and how anyone who isn’t playing a sport can really attend school – to “sit behind a desk for the rest of their life”.
This was not a great film. There are no name actors (I did not recognize one of them) but they were good and effective. The storyline is okay, but it doesn’t have a lot of time in the movie sense to go very far (how much do any of our lives change in less than a week) and so there is much of a destination. Perhaps it is set up with a sequel in mind. Perhaps it is meant to just be a slice of Americana at a funny period in time. I chuckled. I laughed. I saw cars that made me smile (like a Gremlin!) — and now it is over and I write about it, I likely won’t speak of it again. I am thankful my older kids did not see it, as I can only imagine how they would have reacted – because I felt that way and I GOT the inside jokes!!!