Grade: A

Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman

Director Richard Linklater has become a master of evoking tongue-in-cheek reality into the most stilted of dramas and comedies. Even when it seems broad, there's a certain relatable notion mixed in amongst the clever one-liners or ambitious filmmaking endeavors. Set up as more of a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, Linklater's latest, Everybody Wants Some!! is a quintessential testament of college angst and the joy of immature independence.

The beginning of the fall semester at a Texas college is the first brush with freedom for freshman baseball player Jake (Blake Jenner). The female coeds are in bloom, complete with short shorts and long, luscious hair. But, that expected part of the college tradition is second to Jake's introduction to and life among his fellow baseball players. Acting as more of a brotherhood than any stereotypical fraternity would seem, the team experiences the rise and fall of young ambitions and expectations all in a short, 1980s, Texan weekend.

Linklater's passions display themselves twofold. The structure of the piece, from beginning to end, feels like the perfect, sometimes outlandish, slice of life that immediately brings back a certain sense of nostalgia. While most of us lacked the same confidence found in Jake and his fellow freshman, especially in regards to his interactions with the upper class men, there's still something about getting to start over that is charming. The script is just as strong as the structure, providing the cusp of college guy charisma and enlightening commentary. Linklater is smart to never allow the movie to be more than it is, carefully staying away from honoring the main characters' actions, but not belittling them either.

Along with Jenner, the rest of the supporting cast stands out in the same way Dazed and Confused offered limitless potentials of classic teen angst characters. Favorites include Temple Baker as the questionably intelligent athlete Plummer, Will Brittain as the very Southern Beuter, and Tanner Kalina as long-haired Brumley.

Where similar projects may capitalize on gross out sex and hard-rated language, Everybody Wants Some!! relies of realness to sell even its most unbelievable traits. It works on every level in which its playing, creating a first class experience in the type of nostalgia for which Linklater has become known.

Rating: R

Runtime: 1h 57min

© 2018 by Scottie Knollin.