“It’s like the ‘every other decade’ theory: The ’50s were boring. The ’60s rocked. And the ’70s obviously suck—maybe the ’80s will be radical. We’ll be in our 20s, and, hey, it can’t get any worse.” That’s the wisdom of Cynthia at a last-day-of-school kegger in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age classic Dazed and Confused, set in 1976.
Well, in Everybody Wants Some, the ’80s have finally arrived—as have plenty more moments of brilliance we’ll all be quoting for the next decade.
Despite the 20-plus-year gap between making the films, Linklater calls Everybody Wants Some a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused. It opens in the days leading up to fall semester of 1980 at Southeast Texas University, with shaggy-haired freshman pitcher Jake arriving to meet his teammates and settle into college life.
The big surprise here is that this is a bona fide baseball movie, despite there being just a single baseball scene—and a practice, at that. Yet in that scene, Linklater, who went to college on a baseball scholarship, captures the languid beauty of the game as few other filmmakers have.
But he also hits a home run by delivering what’s basically Dazed and Confused for a new generation. Everybody Wants Some is dedicated to the beer-soaked “fuckwithery” that defines a college jock’s existence: mattress surfing, beer-can golf, Space Invaders, and bloody knuckles.
And, like Dazed, there’s not much of a plot, just a series of moments that add up to something greater, self-discovery, and reaffirm, of course, the importance of the eternal pursuit of getting laid.