In classic Linklater form, you're left a few times in the movie wondering what the hell this is all about? It all came together for me and hit me like a freight train in the very last closing shot of the movie, weirdly enough.
Linklater has a real gift at bringing you back to places, revisiting your youth and making you remember quite clearly memories of times past. Boyhood did this brilliantly (and let's not talk about how impossible it must be this to follow up after that movie), but this one also pulls that off in a few key moments. Falling asleep during college classes because you were up ALL night talking to some amazing girl, those are memories you didn't realize how badly you wanted to revisit before seeing this.
It's also pretty good clean fun on how a group of highly competitive college guys live together, and continuously test the waters and push envelopes as they get to know each other. The fact that this is a cast of unknown actors makes it work really well. Although I'm still wondering if that was Jon Hamm doing a cameo as a punk-rock singer.
Some damn fine music too.
Now I know we all had different and unique experiences in college and university so be warned that if your experience is no wear near anyone in this film, you might find this film grossly immature.
Heart rating: 4.5 stars
Brain rating: 4 stars