We Are Your Friends

"Good"

We Are Your Friends Review


Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of youthful energy, but not much authenticity or depth. The plot traces a young aspiring DJ trying to make his mark on the music world, and his struggle isn't exactly gruelling. But what the movie lacks in realism it makes up for in melodrama, keeping the audience involved simply because the characters are relatively enjoyable company.

Zac Efron plays Cole, a smart young guy who spends his days and nights hanging with his chucklehead pals Mason, Ollie and Squirrel (Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez and Alex Shaffer), playing music, doing drugs and tormenting the girls. But Cole has skills mixing tracks to keep a dance floor busy, and one night he's noticed by his idol James (Wes Bentley), a star DJ with a hot girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski). James helps Cole discover his own distinct voice, while Cole can't help but fall for Sophie. Meanwhile, Cole and his buddies need to make some cash, so they take a job with a dodgy property developer (Jon Bernthal). But Cole is determined that this kind of work won't be his future.

Director-cowriter Max Joseph never really bothers to develop any of this properly, letting the film glide along on Cole's cool beats while indulging in arty touches like an animated drug trip. There isn't much complexity to any of the characters, but the actors add interest in the way they interact, developing camaraderie that says a lot more than their relentless macho swagger. Efron is the only actor who is allowed to offer a glimpse beneath the surface, and he navigates Cole's darker emotional moments nicely. But the script continually undermines him. For example, there are constant references to his strong moral code, and yet he seems utterly unbothered about seducing his mentor's girlfriend. Opposite him, Bentley gets to do some ace scene-stealing, but everyone else fades into the wallpaper.

At least it's pretty wallpaper. And these actors are all intriguing enough to hold our interest even when the plot takes some painfully obvious turns. There's also the ongoing problem of Cole's rather bump-free journey from working for free in a grim nightclub to running the decks at a super-cool music festival. None of this feels very believable, although Efron's thoughtful presence holds the attention, letting us identify with that youthful yearning to make our dreams come true. So even if the final scenes play out in a way that's almost laughably simplistic, we're rooting for him all the way.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for We Are Your Friends here:




We Are Your Friends

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 13 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 2nd June 2012

Production compaines: Working Title Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Cole, as Sophie, as James, Nick Rotteveel as Himself, Alessandro Lindblad as Himself, as Mel, as Nicky, as Ollie, as Paige

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