A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Everybody Wants Some!! is a comedy from Richard Linklater that can be seen as a successor to his cult classic Dazed and Confused. Language is extremely strong, running the gamut from "f--k" to "s--t" and many others. College-age characters drink beer (and sometimes harder alcohol) and often smoke pot (bongs, joints). Men try to pick up women and sometimes succeed, kissing and sleeping casually with many of them. A topless woman is shown, as are men's naked bottoms; there's also plenty of ogling, innuendo, groping, etc. Violence is limited but includes a brief bar brawl, pushing and shoving in a mosh pit at a punk show, a painful-looking "knuckles" game (with bleeding, swollen knuckles), and mud wrestling. Though it's full of mature content, it's also funny and irresistible, with some soulful passages and "be yourself"/"join a team" messages.
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What's the story?
In 1980, Jake (Blake Jenner) is a freshman at a big Texas university -- and a new pitcher on the school's champion baseball team. In the days leading up to the first day of classes, Jake meets his teammates, including the charmingly verbose Finn (Glen Powell); the team's only black player, Dale (J. Quinton Johnson); and philosophical pot-smoker Willoughby (Wyatt Russell). They go to a disco, to a country bar, to a punk rock show, and to a party thrown by theater and dance students; drink great quantities of beer; and try to pick up girls. Occasionally, they even practice some baseball. Meanwhile, Jake meets someone he'd like to spend some quality time with, Beverly (Zoey Deutch), in spite of his teammates' razzing and teasing.
Is it any good?
With laid-back ease and an organic understanding of characters and dialogue, Richard Linklater (Boyhood) has crafted an excellent, breezy comedy, albeit one that showcases iffy behavior. The collegiate characters are unsupervised for the first time, sowing their wild oats, naïve in many ways but wise in others. It's like a more thoughtful version of Meatballs. In addition to talking about sex and playing jokes on one another, the characters discuss concepts of being yourself, as well as becoming part of a team.
Like its spiritual predecessor, Linklater's breakthrough Dazed and Confused, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME is virtually plotless, with the possible exception that we're rooting for hero Jake to win the girl, but it moves beautifully, reveling in time and place and character nuance and generally enjoying itself in particular and life in general. It's very funny, not a bit of it unnecessary or out of place, and you don't want it to end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Everybody Wants Some!!'s strong sexual content. Is it OK for guys to pursue so many different potential partners with sex as the sole objective? How is Jake different? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
When the characters tease each other, is this just friendly razzing or is it bullying? How can you tell the difference?
How does the movie depict the year 1980? What was different about that year? What's still the same?
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