So… I’m in that group that went into this movie not expecting to like it much, but ended up really liking it/borderline loving it. This is a testament to Linklater’s gifts. He could make a film about burnt toast and find a way to make it compelling. This is no different, except here we have a bunch of college baseball players living out their youth in 1980, doing everything you’d expect them to: flirting, drinking, partying, wisecracking, smoking weed, etc. This is the entire film, and because I’m not that type of guy, I thought it was going to be… tiresome. But no, it’s actually a blast. The cast is energetic and spry, lighting up the screen with their charisma and having a ball with Linklater’s naturalistic dialogue. Their characters are all distinctive and entertaining, and you get the sense that you know them when all is said and done—or, if not, at least they remind you of people you’ve come across before. Because of that, it’s rather fun to be around them “in spirit” so to speak as they banter amongst each other and form a close community. That’s really what we all want, right?
In terms of MVPs, I liked Zoey Deutch as Blake Jenner’s love interest. She underplayed the sweetness of her character, and it worked. Of course, there’s no avoiding Glen Powell as Finnegan, who embodies that surreal quality of being everywhere at once. He’s the life of the party, the outgoing smooth talker, the smart mentor—a nice conglomeration of what makes this film tick so well, and why I wouldn’t mind revisiting it again in the future. It’s too damn fun not to.