Everybody Wants Some!! Told Us Everything We Needed to Know About Glen Powell | Features

June 10, 2024 - Movies

In that way, Powell’s Finn does resemble McConaughey’s Wooderson, an impossibly attractive young buck who seems to have all the answers to life’s mysteries—especially if you’re younger than him, impressionable and seeking guidance for navigating adulthood. But Finn is a more fully fleshed-out individual than Wooderson was, one of several characters in the ensemble that embodies Linklater’s open-minded but clear-eyed portrait of college-age jocks at the dawn of the 1980s. 

Some criticized “Everybody Wants Some!!,” incorrectly believing that Linklater was endorsing these horny, crude bros, their occasionally misogynistic comments entirely in keeping with immature, blinkered athletes who haven’t yet experienced the wider world. These ballplayers can be dicks, but they also can be sweet and sensitive—these conflicting realities coexist harmoniously within them—and that’s especially true of Finn. He’s not the captain on the diamond—that’s Hoechlin’s going-pro-for-sure Glen—but he’s the one who leads them into battle each night as they hit the local clubs, dancing and flirting and hoping to score. Finn has a patented routine in which he “confides” to beautiful women that he only has a modestly-sized penis, a fiendish way to seem vulnerable and non-threatening. Whereas the other guys can be crass in their pickup lines, Finn practices a more sophisticated level of discourse, talking about astrological signs or life’s invisible wonders. 

Even more disarming, he really believes what he’s saying—although in one unguarded moment with a teammate, he admits he doesn’t think about anything too deeply. Finn’s contradictions make him fascinating—and relatable, reminding us of all our college friends trying to figure out exactly who they were. (Let’s be honest: We were, too.) That Finn’s quick to dismiss a lovely lady uninterested in his patter as a lesbian is, in the way that Powell plays it, both obnoxious and charming. Guys can be like that when they’re young and insecure—hopefully, they outgrow it. And with Finn, you have a feeling he’s going to.

There’s an All-American appeal to Powell, which means he’s a handsome, square-jawed white guy with piercing eyes. No wonder he was cast to play John Glenn in “Hidden Figures”—the man looks like he stepped right out of “The Right Stuff.” But Powell’s astronaut-like wholesomeness is nicely undercut by that wicked smile—that good-old-boy decency belied by the twinkle in his eyes. In “Hit Man,” Powell splits those dueling aspects of his persona into two sides of his character—nice-guy teacher Gary Johnson and pretend-killer Ron—but in “Everybody Wants Some!!” (back when most of us didn’t know who he was) they meld together into a seductive whole. Unfamiliarity with an actor is a beautiful thing—it’s easier to believe he is the role he’s playing—and as Finn, he embodied the brash, innocent energy of a 1980 dude who loves disco as much as he loves rock ‘n’ roll. Hey, as long as girls are involved, he’ll be there.

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