Deborah Ross

The male gaze

Richard Linklater’s latest is a bro-orgy filled with characters that Deborah Ross has no interest in spending time with

Everybody Wants Some!! is a comedy written and directed by Richard Linklater, which is the good news, but it’s set among baseball jocks at a Texas college in 1980, which may be the less good news. Your enjoyment of the film may depend not on Linklater’s abilities, which are there for all to see — Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, Boyhood — but on how much time you wish to spend with these dudes anyhow. They drink and party, party and drink, and drive around town tooting at girls in short shorts who are just short shorts as they aren’t given any actual dialogue except in one trying instance. I was fed up of them all by the end, I have to say — and rather pleased to get rid.

It’s the weekend before the fall semester when Jake (Blake Jenner, who is one of those strong-jawed Ben Affleck types) arrives at the off-campus house he will share with his new teammates. (Jake’s on a baseball scholarship.) Jake is a conduit, our eyes and ears, and he arrives as some of his housemates are feeding a hose from the garden into a mattress in an attempt to create a waterbed, even though shagging on a waterbed may be over-rated. ‘It’s like having sex with a girl on top of a really fat girl,’ notes one. (I laughed; I am not always an old feminist grump — I once took nearly a whole hour off.)

There are nine guys in all, so this is less a bromance, more a bro-orgy (brorgy?) as they party, drink, drink, party, chase girls, shoot the breeze, drink, party, have sex, shift allegiances, punch each other on the shoulder, do some weed, drive around town tooting at bum cheeks (given the shortness of the short shorts, there is much bum cheek on show), listen to LPs, and primp themselves for the next party which, because it’s 1980, means hairdryers are involved, along with high-waisted jeans (yikes!) and Aramis, splashed under arms and down their pants.

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