Review by Lauryn Angel
We Are Your Friends is the story of budding DJ Cole Carter (Zac Efron) who is caught between his desire to make something of himself and his desire to simply hang out with his friends and have a good time. Cole and his friends – Squirrel (Alex Shaffer), Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), and Mason (Johnny Weston) – are content to work (sort-of) all day and party all night. Their biggest life goal is to rent a house together so they can party more often, their only concern how to make enough money to make that happen. They seem assured that they can make things happen in their lives without putting forth effort, with the result that their lives don’t really seem to be going anywhere.
This changes for Cole when he meets celebrity DJ James Reed (Wes Bentley). Reed takes an interest in Cole and shows him how his approach to success is flawed. Under Reed’s tutelage, Cole begins to emerge as a musician, rather than the button-pusher he was content to be before. Predictably, Reed’s assistant/girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) complicates the relationship between the men, and they become rivals, after a fashion. Meanwhile, Cole’s friends sense his pulling away from them and begin to resent his new lifestyle. It takes a tragedy for Cole to realize that his life is going nowhere, and he channels his angst into his music.
The film takes its ultimate message from a line from Squirrel: “Aren’t we ever going to be better than this?” This message will undoubtedly resound with the film’s intended audience – twenty-somethings who aren’t really sure where their lives are going, or why the success they are expecting from life has not found them yet. Unfortunately, the story is predictable and verges on soap opera. Zac Efron fans will appreciate the eye candy (as the young ladies seated next to me certainly did), and the soundtrack is excellent. Audiences looking for anything deeper, however, are likely to come away disappointed.
Available in stores on Tuesday, November 17.
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