Richard Linklater’s ever-amiable, always ambling, achingly intelligent “Everybody Wants Some!!” is an early-eighties-set comedy-drama set on the weekend before college begins for the baseball team at a Texas university. It slots neatly into the narrative timeline of his filmography, from the boy years of “Boyhood” to the picture it most parallels, and is not quite a sequel to “Dazed And Confused,” as well as to the onrushing “present” days of the “Before” trilogy. Profane, teasing, taunting, Linklater’s script also indulges comedy high and low: hormones and burgeoning ego and beginners’ alcohol consumption bristle on screen. Each and every stroke of production design and men’s and women’s clothes alike are as thrillingly precise as the album covers that project “taste” in each dorm setting. And as well, it’s also the most genial take on young giddy goofy male friendships in memory, plus, girls. For a “sports” picture, “EWS” is pleasingly perverse in many ways, including the fact that the only baseball scene is deep into the last third of the movie. As Linklater has pointed out, when he thinks about when he played college ball, he thinks of what we see on screen between the teammates, not what happened on any diamond. And, there’s lots of chat as ears, as would be expected, get genially chewed. A long-gestating project, brought to life by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, “Everybody” finds its ideal form in a timeframe under seventy-hours, with an ending that could readily melt into the first drawn clouds of “Waking Life.” 116m. (Ray Pride)
“Everybody Wants Some!!” opens April 1.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.