Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We Are Your Friends: Movie Review

An overly dramatic, mostly uninteresting story of a DJ.

There are three (well, actually, four) things that We Are Your Friends wants you to know: Zac Efron is really hot; electronic music is really cool; and Emily Ratajkowski has really nice boobs. Presumably you already know and/or don't care about points one and three which leaves you with the music. Thankfully, it didn't give me a headache and when Efron was actually creating his tracks, it was even interesting; just not enough to carry the entire movie. 2015

Directed by: Max Joseph

Screenplay by: Max Joseph and Meaghan Oppenheimer

Starring: Zac Efron

Cole Carter (Zac Efron) wants to be a DJ. He works as a club promoter with his friends for very little money, but just wants to be a DJ. Although at least he doesn't say “I want to be big” - the much-derided line from the trailer. That's presumably all he wants since there is nothing else to his character. We know very little about him. Except he does like pretty girls, just not enough to put himself out there for one.

There's also not much else to the movie apart from the music. Cole and his friends are into drugs, so there are a few scenes of taking drugs which immediately turn into montages of partying with music. Although, is Cole into drugs? He's offended when he's slipped something without his knowledge, but then when it happens again he doesn't care. I guess it's just whatever suits the scene. Same with the other storyline. Cole and his friends get a job with a guy who's in the real estate business, makes a lot of money, but is not a realtor. The very shady aspect of this job is immediately apparent to anyone with half a brain, but somehow Cole has no problem with it until he screws over one particular client. I don't know if he's supposed to be inconsistent, stupid, or naive, but probably all three. This storyline doesn't account for much, and definitely doesn't provide anything interesting.

The romance aspect is between Efron and Ratajkowski. She first rejects him because she doesn't like club promoters, and a really dark and dramatic score plays for that scene as if it's the most important thing to ever happen. But later he finds out that she's also in a relationship with James Reed (Wes Bentley), a famous and successful DJ. They'll get together soon enough, and so the film spent zero time building up their relationship.

Wes Bentley as the older and more cynical DJ, a semi-idol for Cole, was the best addition to the film. He provided the few lines of comedy, and his leadership and friendship to the aspiring Cole made him into a more interesting character. It is surprising that Bentley's career is just now coming into its own after his breakthrough 16 years ago in American Beauty, but it is welcome.

Efron as usual has great screen presence and handles the drama admirably as he did during his recent indie stint, but Cole's friends are so unappealing and add nothing to the film. The overly dramatic tone the film established didn't help it, and it also wasn't a non-stop party as the trailer seems to suggest. There is very little to We Are Your Friends apart from the music, and nothing to make it more interesting.

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