In advertising among my design friends we call exclamation marks Dogs’ cocks I think because they just look rotten.
I like that Richard Linklater uses two of them in the title of his Jock movie.
It’s appropriate as the central focus of it is 16 baseball players looking to put that part of their human anatomy to good and frequent use.
As in Boyhood Richard Linklater is light on narrative, big on meaning, and the meaning of this rocking great movie is the three days before term starts when partying on campus for Freshmen, Sophomores, in fact right up to thirty year old ball players, is the actual meaning of life.
And partying means pulling.
But this is no Animal House or American Pie. Sure it’s hilarious in parts, but naturalistically so, not slapstick and not gross out.
Just real guys being real funny.
Jake, our hero, is the quiet sensitive type, but plays great ball and has joined the fictional University of South Eastern Texas to do just that. The Baseball team is the star sports team of the College and is feted for this. Free drinks in bars is common. Sure, Jake has a degree to see to (history as it happens) but this is incidental.
The Jocks he houses with in two, eight-bed, suburban family homes are brutal. Well, they’re Jocks. (but actually, scratch the surface and they’re all big softies underneath looking out for each other). Nevertheless, no taboo is off limit and any weakness at all is clinically punished amongst the laddish, highly competitive banter.
They drink, they blow, they get laid, they drink, they chat up girls, they get laid, they dance (pathetically), they fight (pathetically) and they ride around in cars.
Linklater has a documentary style and this is continued in this movie.
Here’s how it opens pitch perfectly as Jake cruises into town with his gear.
Ooh, my little pretty one, my pretty one
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona
Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run
Got it coming off o’ the line, Sharona
Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
I always get it up, for the touch of the younger kind
My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa!
The soundtrack is chock full of late 70’s/80’s classics and their word perfect singing along to Rappers Delight by The SugarHill Gang is a highlight.
For my money this is a better movie than Boyhood, despite the epicness of his achievement. It’s an utter delight from start to finish. Covers every teen cliche in history but believably and engagingly.
The ensemble cast (led by Blake Jenner from Glee) is outstanding. The period styling impeccable. The script taught and witty.
It’s near perfect actually.
I expect it to win prizes.