Everybody Wants Some!!, the new film by Richard Linklater, is being billed as Linklater’s “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 classic, Dazed and Confused. As it turns out, this is an accurate description. None of the characters are the same, but it’s the same thing: kids hangin’ out. In Dazed and Confused, it was a bunch of high school kids over the course of one day; in Everybody Wants Some!!, it’s a bunch of college kids over the course of three days.
Everybody Wants Some!! has no plot. I couldn’t spoil this movie for you if I tried. There are no great revelations or any twists and turns. Plot is overrated. Have you ever watched a movie and really enjoyed the first few minutes when it’s just the characters hanging out and you really like these characters and you just want to watch them hang out – then the plot starts? (When’s the last time you watched Weekend at Bernie’s? The whole first act takes place in New York City and it’s great because not much is happening, but the characters are fun. Then the plot kicks in.) Everybody Wants Some is a lot like one of those types of movies, only the plot never kicks in. (Yes, a lot like Dazed and Confused.)
I think I can sum up the plot in one sentence, so let’s try: It’s the Friday before classes start on Monday at a Texas college in 1980 and the school’s baseball team moves into their campus housing and wants to have some fun before Sunday practice. I did it. That’s it. It’s fantastic. I could watch another 10 hours of these people hanging out.
Everybody Wants Some!! is a weird movie to watch for the first time, because you know you’re going to be watching it dozens of more times over the course of your life and you will be immensely familiar with all of these characters. But, this first time, you are not. So, instead of trying to weave in all the characters’ names into narrative paragraphs that you won’t understand anyway, let’s just break down some of the major characters (but not all because neither of us have all day) one by one. Consider this your prep guide before seeing the film:
Jake (Blake Jenner):
Jake is basically our main character, he’s a freshman pitcher who is just meeting his new teammates for the first time. He’s also keen on a girl he meets, Beverly. He’s the “nice guy” heart of the movie.
Finnegan (Glen Powell):
You will want to be friends with Finnegan by the end of the movie. He’s cool without being pretentiously cool. He’s the guy who knows just how to react in every possible situation – well, at least in college. He’s one of the team’s leaders and will probably be President of the United States some day. Rocks an awesome mustache.
Beverly (Zoey Deutch):
Beverly is a freshman performing arts major, so basically the opposite of anyone who plays on the baseball team. Well, except for one thing: She, like, Jake, was the best at her high school, now she’s competing with a bunch of people who were all the best at their high schools.
McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin):
McReynolds is the Alpha Dog of the team. He plays center field, is a pro prospect, is by far the best player, and he can swing an axe for a bat and cut a pitched baseball in half. McReynolds is so competitive, he won’t even befriend the pitchers on the team just in case he ever has to face them in the pros. He would never want to give them “an edge.”