Everybody Wants Some!! ★★★★

AKA Hazed and Confused, Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! (the two exclamation points are vital as they are a part of the original Van Halen song's title as well) is a genuinely funny and surprisingly nostalgic examination of the standard college student's life atmosphere.The film was originally touted as a spiritual sequel to both Boyhood and Dazed and Confused, and it's not hard to make the connections. Everybody Wants Some!! starts right where Boyhood left off, with the college freshman protagonist moving into his new college dorm and meeting his new roommates and a girl. The story and script, however, are far more comedic in their approach, making the film less of a unique personal experience and more of a great comedy.

Just as Boyhood set out to capture millenial nostalgia while progressively monitoring the metamorphosis of a child, Everybody Wants Some!! gives us a brief peer into the hectic few days leading up to a college freshman's first day of class while piling on all the 80's nostalgia it can muster. The soundtrack is rife with rock classics from greats like Queen and Pat Benatar, along with a host of other subtle nostalgic placements that will make the older generations long for their glory days.

Everybody Wants Some!! is bookmarked with scenes of signature Linklater-style pseudo-intellectualism. The extensive conversations between characters that were present in his other films like Boyhood and Dazed and Confused return to drop more youthful wisdom in style, although it's far less marijuana-induced than Dazed and Confused was. Whereas the latter film was practically rolling in reefer smoke, Everybody Wants Some!! only features one (admittedly hilarious) scene of drug use, whereas Linklater chooses to focus his film more on the connection between these college students and the surrounding nostalgic factors. Rest assured that if you were a fan of the way the dialogue was handled in Dazed and Confused, you'll probably end up loving Everybody Wants Some!!.

As some may already know, the original title for Everybody Wants Some!! was That's What I'm Talking About, a line frequently uttered by the characters in Dazed and Confused. While I can see how many would appreciate the subtle connection that the title would have made between the two films, I feel that the new title was better because the line ("That's what I'm talking about!") is repeated many times over by most of the main characters. Had the original title been kept, the fact that many of the characters keep repeating this line would have felt far too repetitive to me, considering it was already a trademark repeated line in Dazed and Confused. It simply would have felt like a bit too forced of a tie between the two films, and I feel that Everbody Wants Some!! is a far better title that works better with the film's tone and atmosphere.

Sandra Adair's editing is just on point in Everybody Wants Some!! as well. The longtime Linklater collaborator who pieced together Mason's filmed story for Boyhood returns to the cutting room for this film, and the editing style lets the film flow freely and wildly. Her editing perfectly fits the frenetic, carefree story that is on display, panning from one scene to the next without blinking an eye or giving time to recover. It's a perfect style that complemented the film like none other.

Everybody Wants Some!! is a great companion piece to Boyhood and Dazed and Confused. All three could be viewed as some kind of "trilogy of youth," films that artistically capture some key moments of adolescence. Boyhood starts off by thoroughly chronicling one kid's journey to his teenage years, Dazed and Confused examines the final day of high school for a group of friends, and Everybody Wants Some!! nicely rounds it off by capturing the best moments in the last few days leading up to the first day of college. Linklater shows a genuine passion for finding the connection between life and art, and exploiting it to the best of his abilities. Brimming with nostalgia and full of genuinely hilarious moments, Everybody Wants Some!! is another hit for Richard Linklater.

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