I have a problem with most college movies. We either get the nerds seeking revenge on the jocks or the jocks trying to get laid. Both position women as objects to be hunted as prizes and with the rates of sexual assault in American Colleges its perhaps something we shouldn’t be encouraging in light hearted comedies. Neighbours 2 subverted that trope in having a foul mouthed sorority, and Richard Linklater perhaps gives us a slightly different look at it again, albeit still with some lingering feelings of objectification.
Everybody Wants Some follows a baseball team in 80’s Texas as they arrive for their first weekend before school and practice begins for the year. The team is comprised of new and old players and focuses on what happens when these men are taken away from their families and put together in a world where the only rules are that of the team. We are given the mandatory drinking and partying scenes as well as a central romance to tick all the genre boxes but where Everybody Wants Some differs is Linklaters ability to drill emotion into the journey.
By the end of the film, we are given a strong idea of the character of our protagonist Jake (Blake Jenner) as the moral centre, trying to fit in with the testosterone of the team but not giving away his more sensitive side. While the team camouflages itself to whichever look they think can help them get laid, Jake remains honest and demonstrates a clear interest in others rather than unsubtle pick up lines and quick tricks. We are given a clear distinction between good and bad that lets us take inspiration from one and find humour in the other.
The soundtrack is riotous, the costuming is impeccable and the production feels fluid and clear in its vision. This is the real potential of what all other college movies want to be. Without an evil dean, an enemy frat or a road trip, Everybody Wants Some gives us an honest look at the masculine experience that is carefully positioned between bravado and brains and is humorous and enjoyable without undermining itself with extreme objectification and cheap gross laughs.