The fact that Richard Linklater (Before Midnight, Boyhood, Dazed And Confused) wrote and directed Everybody Wants Some!! was pretty much all I need to hear for me to want to see it. Pitched as a "spiritual sequel to Dazed And Confused," the plotless, kinda funny trailer left me puzzled. But having seen the film last night, I can now assure you that if you loved Dazed And Confused, you will love Everybody Wants Some!!.
From beginning to end, Linklater finds laugh-out-loud joy in the quirks and peculiarities of his ensemble cast, making Everybody Wants Some!! one of the best character-driven comedies in years.
Some of the magic that Linklater conjures here is due to his consistently brilliant use of music to steer the characters' relationships closer, such as an impromptu performance of The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" that unfolds between characters during a joyride. It isn't just silly — it's the moment in which I found myself falling in love with these characters. Take a look at this brief clip:
It feels like Linklater picks up where Boyhood left off — the film begins with college freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) arriving at school and finding his place in the bizarre tribe of his college baseball team.
Similarly to Dazed And Confused, the film focuses on the weekend before classes begin as Jake and his teammates drift through the curious worlds of college discos, hoedowns, punk rock shows and theater-geek parties.
Hilarious and philosophical, Linklater has crafted a fresh comedy masterpiece that feels as much a personal expression as his previous work Waking Life and Before Sunrise.