Another weekend, another review and this time we are rocking into the theater for yet another youthful drama. Zac Efron leads the cast in the latest film about partying and friendship, in hopes of entertaining the masses in what looks to be some half-baked movie. Yet Hollywood can sometimes surprise you with a masterpiece that will hold a place in your own hall of fame. What is the verdict with this movie? Well sit back, relax and read my thoughts on Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends.
The plot of the movie, according to the trailers, centers on Cole an aspiring D.J. in the San Fernando Valley who longs to make his mark. His idealistic, and mostly deadbeat, friends “work” to find a means of making money to move up to bigger and better things, perhaps resulting to less legal manners to do so. Fortune smiles on Cole when another DJ named James (Wes Bentley) offer him opportunities that could set him up for success. But these opportunities, as well as a cute woman named Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) may be more than he bargained for. What chaos can ensue?
Does this plot sound familiar? Well it should, because We Are Your Friends picks up the same carbon copy teenage drama plot that millions fall in love. Predictable doesn’t describe how easy it was to pick apart the plot and know what was going to happen next. Much of the tale, as well as the dialog, focused on very shallow qualities that our modern age could relate to, primarily living for the moment via the use of drugs, booze, and careless sex. The “love” aspect in the film is rather simplistic, greatly diluted by the partying scenes and almost nonexistent until the end of the movie. Amidst the sea of very selfish and irresponsible motives, the team managed to add a few good morals to the film, such as working hard and selflessness towards others. It was just a shame that so much of this was rushed, so that they could maximize more of the party atmosphere. This brings me to my next point, the cinematography.
We are your friends is all about making you feel you are partying, much of the 90 minutes dedicated to portraying modern social life… at least in the LA region. Loud raves filled with many young extras jamming to electronic music are the primary settings of this film. I felt they did a nice job dropping you into various party styles that help give you some social culture education, immersing you in all the aspects they have. Unfortunately this meant glorifying drugs, alcohol, and recreational sex as the true means of having fun. I only hope the consequences they showed at the end get through to the main audience, but with how much fun they made partying on drugs, can’t say that will be the case. I’ll admit I did enjoy the artistic direction they took for one drug scene, where the visual styles pop out, but otherwise it was not an impressive display. The best parts of the entire cinema for me though were showing the DJ process, getting glimpses on how the music I enjoy so much is synthesized and brought to life.
In addition to glorifying the party lifestyle, this film also likes to focus on the body…a lot. Many of the extras and our two leading actors are very hot, sexy, or whatever descriptive term you want to use. Efron has plenty of moments in skin tight, muscle-emphasizing shirts that are shed to show off his body. If you’re like some of my friends, you’ll give this movie a ten for this feature alone. Guys don’t worry; the directors have given you plenty of female anatomy to appreciate as well. Emily alone is very gorgeous to look at, but they have casted enough extras in skimpy clothing, and sometimes none, to appeal to your natural urges. Either way, this movie is sure to get some people “excited” and plays well to appeal to the shallow side of things.
The best and final thing for me of this movie though is the soundtrack. Since this is a movie about an aspiring DJ, you can guess the movie is filled with tracks of electronic dance music. Fans of this genre will be tapping their toes as the music plays through the theater speakers, bass booming in full strength until the rest of the sounds became integrated into the mix. I admit I was boogying to many of tracks they created for this film. While some of the tracks are a little disorganized, I loved the integration of the music into the scenes and how the song matched the tone of the scene. However, if you find this kind of music simply earsplitting noise, then you need to avoid this movie for this point alone.
Let’s face it; this movie is certainly not the best on the block. With a very unoriginal plot, focus on the superficial qualities of life, and lack of award winning dialog there is very little that makes this worthy of the theater. In fact, this movie would have made for a good after school special if I’m being honest. However, the movie gets points for a gorgeous cast and awesome soundtrack. Thus, I recommend you wait out for this one to come to Netflix.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0