We Are Your Friends

WRITTEN BY: Max Joseph, Meaghan Oppenheimer
STARRING: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston, Alex Shaffer, Shiloh Fernandez
RATING: 1.5 stars

Cole (Zac Efron) is an aspiring DJ living on the other side of the Hollywood hills with his friends (Jonny Weston, Alex Shaffer and Shiloh Fernandez) who work as party promoters. One night at a club, Cole meets beautiful college drop-out Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski), who flirts briefly with him. Later that night, Cole shares a joint with slightly older DJ James (Wes Bentley), who invites Cole to hang out more. Cole quickly forms a friendship with James only to learn that Sophie is James' girlfriend.

It seems We Are Your Friends is supposed to celebrate the skill of DJs and their contribution to music culture. Through several passionate speeches, the film explains how DJs find the right beat to get a crowd pumping, but it all feels pompous and arrogant. Quite frankly, the film tries too hard to make its point instead of letting the music speak for itself. I'm no expert, but I imagine real DJs may even be turned off by this film. Music aside, the overall plot lacks direction and purpose, including an out of place sub-plot involving Jon Bernthal as a shady real estate mogul who hires Cole and his friends to work for him. The genre is also hard to pinpoint because the film is neither funny nor dramatic enough. Plus, the film seems a little critical of youth, who are the target audience. Perhaps the only thing working in the film's favour is the eye candy for both sexes, but even then, there is a lot of unnecessary and gratuitous attention on female nudity and sexuality. Ultimately, We Are Your Friends fails to engage audiences at every turn. Unless you are a massive fan of Zac Efron, who remains a charming screen presence, you are unlikely to find much enjoyment in this film.