Today’s film industry standards, conjure up a challenging conquest to produce films that manifest an air of sweet, blissful nostalgia, that truly captures the era or tone in cinematic scope.
When director and writer, Rick Linklater set out to create the seventies’ cult classic, “Dazed and Confused” he mimicked a time in place where teenagers—no matter the generation gap—could appreciate and reminisce on the true simplicities of high-school life. Gossiping girls who would sneak away to smoke cigarettes in the bathroom or hot-headed boys looking for trouble—there was substance and a unequivocal sense that we were witnessing our idled teenage years before our eyes.
For those who watched—“Dazed and Confused”—what stuck in our minds was the sheer honesty of capturing those very nostalgic moments we take for granted as youth. Riding along in cars with our girlfriends, while listening to music and howling at boys or the classmate pothead who had his own comedic philosophies on life—enthralled those who witnessed it—a wrinkle in time you could call it. Life, love, youth, adventure was all beautifully displayed in an era where self expression was just starting to peak.
“Everybody Wants Some!!’’ differed in Linklater’s approach to “Dazed and Confused” and veered off rather than honing in and reminiscing on the tried-and-true days of starting your Freshman year at college. Yes, there were similarities—feeling out-of-place at a new school and learning to adapt to the conformities we’re placed under after high-school.
But the only sweet notion in this film, was fleeting and served to prove that the ensemble cast and overall storyline wasn’t in line with Linklater’s previous films—in fact it was a sore disappointment that felt watered down and cheated the audience of what they were truly viewing. It’s not to say that this film will tarnish Linklater’s pristine resume, but it will most definitely leave a smudge in viewers minds who paid for a film that felt inauthentic.
The success of “Dazed of Confused” was not only its strong writing, but the raw music of the time and the ensemble cast that made you feel as if you were a graduating senior—looking for the meaning of truth. “Everybody Wants Some!!” was a stark contrast in comparison, with a cast of characters that never meshed from the very beginning—parties, girls, sex and baseball—that was the winning formula, according to Linklater.
It’s a tough fete in this day-and-age to create a film that closely embodies “Animal House” yet this film pulled direct inspiration of what it meant to live like a jock or a fraternity boy. The rebel spirit that had been infused in Linklater’s films had vanished and was left with a rather unpleasant aroma of what he deemed to be college life.