I was expecting to detest this movie, and I'm happy to say that I found some enjoyment in We Are Your Friends. I'm not too big on EDM; I love some of it, dislike most of it, but this movie actually painted the genre/scene in an interesting light. They add a human element to the otherwise processed and compressed music, and it's pretty captivating. At least those scenes are. Where the movie fails can be attributed to its title. We Are Your Friends shouldn't have been about friendship or having each others backs or whatever they were trying to go for because that is by far the weakest element of the movie. Zac Efron is great in the lead role, but his friends are complete throwaway characters. I didn't care about any of them. There is one scene near the end where the friend arc almost pays off, but even then it's not worth all the wasted minutes building up these characters when there's a far more interesting story that's going to waste.
The story I'm referring to involves Wes Bentley's character James who is a washed up DJ that kind of fell from grace and is now living off royalty checks and he ends up being the person who teaches Cole (Efron) how to make electronic music effective. I really enjoyed Bentley in this role. In fact, the whole trifecta of Efron, Bentley, and Emily Ratajkowski is what made the movie watchable. Bentley being the mentor character who is fighting a lot of inner demons, Efron being the ambitious musician who is hungry for his big break, and Ratajkowski showing off her acting talent as the assistant/girlfriend to Bentley's character who ends up falling for Efron. Even though it sounds like a cliché love triangle, for some reason it works. There's tension between these characters - you care about the friendship between James and Cole, but you also recognize their faults and why Emily's character is torn in her position. They make for some pretty powerful scenes.
But again, this potential is muddled underneath a bunch of Hollywood crap. There's a throwaway plot about the gang working for a real estate agency, there's an attempt at a moral to being true to yourself in order to make it big, there is just a bunch of predictable nonsense that clutters this film which is a shame. Believe me, I was not expecting to have any nice things to say about We Are Your Friends, but there is definitely something here. The fact is that the goodness in the movie is a diamond in the rough, and sadly, this diamond isn't worth all the rough.
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