Coming off of his massive critical and award-winning success of Boyhood, writer/director Richard Linklater returns to the vibes of his beloved cult classic Dazed and Confused with his latest film Everybody Wants Some!! Set over the weekend before the start of college, Linklater follows the freshman inductees and upperclassmen antiheroes of a baseball team as they party and hunt for sexual conquests. True to Linklater’s form, it’s a dialogue-driven enterprise that’s character-focused and purely watchable.
However, even with his rich character depictions and natural conversations unfolding with his usual expect touch, that watchability is tainted with quite unsavory machismo.
The brusque, bro-y maleness it has on display is decidedly un-politically correct and amused with itself, almost relentlessly so. There’s ample frank dialogue that’s free with the use of female diminishing expletives and the only pursuits driving its male clan is the thirst for more sexual conquests and dominance over one another. Though some may find the film’s rambling dialogue a slog, the real tough sit is the barrage of nasty assertion of maleness. Unaccustomed to the kind of private company of men featured in the film, I had to ask myself “Is this really how men talk to one another when no one is listening?”
But Everybody is not without perspective or judgment regarding the characters’ actions. Without feeling like a tacked on bit of audience servicing, the film’s themes finally come to cohesion around the final half hour when the guys begin to express passions outside of booze, babes, and balls.