Friday, April 22, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some!!
seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens NY

It just so happens that the main character in my novel is a former baseball player from Texas. I didn't really go into Everybody Wants Some!! expecting to get any further insight into what the life of a Southern college-age jock was like. The machismo, the competitiveness the party lifestyle, and yes, even the subtle homo-eroticism in places, none of it came as much of a surprise, and anyway, we never see my character during his college days in my story. He's a middle-aged man. Still, I was hoping for a little something extra that would further inform my character. I didn't find it, but that's okay. My novel is quite different than this movie.

I like to think that the mirror universe version of me is a jock. My father was an athlete in college, and I've always had a fantasy that I could have been one too, if I hadn't developed an aptitude for art. I was never in little league, but I remember playing a fair amount of softball, in and out of school. I remember thinking that being a left-handed batter must have been some sort of asset.

I had Keith Hernandez' book If at First... and he talked a lot about his batting technique, which I tried to apply to my game. How can you aspire to be a .300 hitter, though, when another lefty player, Darryl Strawberry, is hitting monster home runs left and right? Suffice it to say I was easily swayed.

I think Walter, my character, would've fit in perfectly with the jocks of Richard Linklater's latest movie, at least at the same age. For one thing, he went to college around the same time period, the early 80s. He was just as girl crazy back then, just as much of a hellraiser, and just as committed to winning. Over twenty years later, he's changed considerably, but I think at heart he still sees himself as much the same. In the story, however, he falls for a woman from a higher social class and from a different part of America, and this makes him acutely aware of how different he is, and whether or not he could stand a chance with someone like her. That's just one part of the story, though.

The cast of Everybody includes one black character, which made him stand out rather conspicuously. It made me think that the fictitious Texas college that's the setting for the film probably integrated at a slow pace. Still, he's treated as one of the guys. In the nightclub and party scenes, Linklater didn't feel the need to perpetuate the cliche of automatically pairing him up with the token sister, although not doing so also carries implications, especially in a setting with so few people of color to begin with. Does he prefer white chicks, given a choice? I suppose he could have danced with the token sister as well, but we never see him do so. I really wish I didn't think about stuff like this...

Like its spiritual predecessor, Dazed and Confused, Everybody has a rockin' soundtrack. One almost wonders if movies like these are made just for the nostalgia factor inherent in these soundtracks. As the target audience for movies like this, I almost can't help but respond to scenes like the one where they're singing along to "Rapper's Delight." I mean, the poster for this movie, as you can see at the top, is an image of a mixtape! What I'm saying is that it's catnip for people of my generation. It's almost too easy to get drawn into a movie like this... but I don't care, especially when it's part of a movie as fun as this.

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