everybody-wants-some-trailerSo let’s preface this with the fact that I love most of Richard Linklater’s films. A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life, the Before trilogy, Boyhood and of course Dazed and Confused all rank somewhere in my ever growing list of “great movies”.

There are a few movies that I’ve watched a lot. My room used to be in the basement of the house, so more or less the entire basement was appropriated to be my room. This meant that my “room” was as much a living room as it was a bedroom.

Anyhow, I used to put on movies the way most people put on music. If I bought a VHS tape, it would mean that I was ready to watch this movie multiple if not dozens of times. Films like Clerks, Mallrats, Empire Records, Hackers and Trainspotting all made that heavy rotation. So did Dazed and Confused.

All that to say that I might just be a little bit biased when a movie comes rolling out in 2016 written and directed by Richard Linklater and touted as the “Spiritual Sequel to Dazed and Confused“.

That’s not just marketing talk, Everybody Wants Some!! is most certainly the spiritual sequel to Linklater’s 1993 film (wow, that makes me feel old), in a multitude of ways. Where D&C takes place on the last day of high school, EWS!! is the first weekend of college. D&C takes place in the late 70s (1976 to be exact) and EWS!! takes place in the early 80s (1980).

Both films deal with finding your place in an ever expanding world that outwardly seems to care less and less about you. The football players of Dazed and Confused wonder about their fate as they move to college and losing their “top dog” status in high school. The baseball players of Everybody Wants Some!! are dealing with that exact reality. They were the best players on their high school teams, now they’re in a fight with equally talented players for a spot on the lineup.

Without expressly taking the same characters and checking in on them in college (which would be an impossible task with all of the actors being 23 years older and mostly in their 40s), Everybody Wants Some!! plays as much like Dazed and Confused as you can get without being fully derivative.

Of course, the other similarity is that both movies are essentially about nothing in terms of plot. The characters bounce around from party to party, with hanging out in between. You’re not watching this movie for the plot, you’re watching it to see these characters, from their different walks of life and philosophies interact and figure their shit out.

In the same way that Dazed and Confused doesn’t have hammy “jokes” neither does Everybody Wants Some!! Instead, you’re just along for the ride as the characters themselves are genuinely funny. I got genuinely excited by some of the casting choices when I saw Glen Powell in the role of Finnegan. He was easily among the best parts of Scream Queens (which I also loved) and it was cool to see him get a major role in a fantastic Linklater script.

I honestly think that Dazed and Confused has been seen by just about anybody reading this website. With that in mind, I think the easiest recommendation I can make is just to reconfirm what the marketing team already told you, Everybody Wants Some!! is the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused. And it’s a good sequel.

everybody-wants-someBut will it hit that “cult classic” status that Dazed and Confused did?

That’s a whole other story.

It’s not that it’s not as good, or won’t resonate with college kids the way Dazed and Confused resonated with high school kids. It’s that we watch movies very differently in 2016.

Back in the day, when we rented a movie, we’d have it for a few days only and then have to give it back. That made it a little special, and we’d often end up watching it 2 or 3 times before returning it. We didn’t have unlimited instant access to a massive library of movies like Netflix or iTunes. If we bought a movie, it would enter into a very limited list of movies available to us.

I remember going to someone’s house and being completely flabbergasted that their movie collection had more than 300 movies in it. I felt some degree of pride that I had a collection of 30-40 “good” movies on my shelves.

Netflix has nearly 3000 movies in Canada and almost 4600 movies in the United States (and that’s not counting multiple seasons of around 1000 TV shows).

That’s bananas you guys.

Why would you ever go back and watch the same movie again and again when you have access to thousands of movies at the press of a button?

I mean, it’s good for us in a way, we can expose ourselves to new and exciting releases instead of going back and re-watching the same thing again and again.

Most movies I will only watch once, and if something is really good, it might get a re-watch when it comes to video. I honestly can’t remember the last movie that I’ve watched more than twice.

All that to say, I think it’s much harder for a film to hit that “heavy rotation”. When you invite friends over and you’re just hanging out, you’re much more likely to throw on a random new movie than go back to an old favorite.

That’s kind of sad.

I really hope that Everybody Wants Some!! manages to find its audience.It’s up against action movie blockbuster Batman vs Superman, and a huge Hollywood hype-machinne comedy The Boss and an effects laden Disney remake of the Jungle Book. How’s a little indie comedy about nothing going to fare? Despite it’s glowing reviews (scoring over 80% on IMDB, with critics and fans on Rotten Tomatoes), the movie’s only netted $1.6 million and had a budget of $10 million.

In the past, I would say something like “it’ll find its place on video”. But nowadays, I’m not so sure.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

 

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