"Man, You're Not a Real Person Until You're 27."
“We Are Your Friends” is like the old guy at the party attempting to relate to Hollywood’s avatar for the Millennial generation. Because of its sheer exuberance, some of its advice comes across as genuine. But for people like me, who don’t relate to that avatar AT ALL, it can be frustrating to sit through a visualized sermon of what we hear and what we tell ourselves every day: “Get better, be better, do you want to be a loser for the rest of your life?”
And then…the rest of the movie does nothing with that set-up. There are so many loose ends lying around. Zac Efron has a shoebox full of money under his bed that never gets used (or even stolen, I was prepared for that). His friends are terrible man-children who never straighten up. His mentor is an emotional abusive alcoholic, and they fight and make up almost immediately. His love interest, oh man don’t get me started, actually I liked her for a bit until I realized she was the only person on the screen who had no DREAMS, also calling this movie a “romance” seems inaccurate because the love story feels so shoe-horned in.
But there are some nice moments of clarity, of things feeling right on the screen, of a rhythm being reached (you had better be able to at least tolerate EDM, because it almost never stops playing). However, a lot of those best moments feel ripped from other films, which is hilarious because that’s the exact thing Cole’s mentor is telling him NOT to do. And the film never reaches that level of raw, emotional honesty that “Straight Outta Compton” did just a couple weeks ago.
Maybe that’s my problem with this film. This is a film about a guy making it big because he follows the rules. Yeah, he’s allowed to get wild and experiment with his style, but this method of success is prescribed: find people who will help you, work hard, prepare for failure, aim for success. Things are practically handed to this kid, and yeah he fulfills his responsibility to use the gifts he’s given, but it still feels effortless, inevitable when he gets everything he ever wanted.
And maybe for some people that’s the way it works. I have yet to see an example of that in my own life, personally. But I’m not Zac Efron.
Tequila. They like drinking cheap sake from their local sushi joint, too.
-Drink for fisticuffs
-Drink when Zac Efron actually does some DJ-ing (or sound editing).
-Drink when James says something cynical about young people
-Drink for drug use
-Drink when Zac Efron puts money away in the box under his bed
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). “We Are Your Friends” was produced by Working Title Films and Studio Canal, and distributed by Warner Bros. The film is rated “R” with a runtime of 96 minutes.
Special thanks to my patrons, Caroline Kittredge Faustine, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin and Antonia Beck. Your support helped make this article happen!