Review: We Are Your Friends (2015)

At the start of the movie, they were jerks. By the end of the movie, they were bigger jerks.


Title: We Are Your Friends

Director: Max Joseph

Stars: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski

Plot Summary: Caught between a forbidden romance and the expectations of his friends, aspiring DJ Cole Carter attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune.


I was first intrigued by the trailer, which offered an interesting concept. Side it with the summary, I was able to infer that We Are Your Friends would follow Zac Efron’s character, Cole, and his journey towards becoming a well-known DJ. I find a liking towards watching indie movies that convey ideas like, “discovering yourself”, and “pave your own path”, and basically all the norms that you might find in a typical story in the nature of coming of age. Hey, perhaps the audience will be treated to a story of how a nobody would fight through all the obstacles in his way to achieve a life-long dream. Sounded promising to me; maybe I would even find the movie inspirational.

Well, the trailer has certainly make something out of nothing.

The first person narration that was employed has succeeded in establishing a connection with the audience, I’d give it that. When the characters broke the fourth wall, as was showcased by the trailer, I felt like I was a part of the movie. But that was about the only time the characters talked and looked directly at the audience.

With a storyline that began by highlighting a friendship shared by four troublemaking young adult guys, you would have thought that the film will expound on their relationship. Again, I had the wrong conception. After Cole found his ticket to become the successful DJ he wanted to be, the audience barely see his friends again, save for small scenes where they show up to demonstrate how bad of an influence they can be.

Cole’s “ticket” came in the form of James (Wes Bentley), an established and successful DJ who is probably the biggest jerk in the movie (though there are times when he made up for it). It was disappointing for me to see Cole depend on James for his success. I feel like more focus was given towards the time spent between Cole and James and James’s girlfriend, rather than on Cole and his career — or lack thereof.

I did, however, enjoyed the cinematography. Max Joseph has a good eye, and the rustic colours that the film applied present a rawness that can only be seen in the youth.

We Are Your Friends has a number of different points that it could pursue within its storyline, but in the end covered them only superficially. The film was confused on whether it is a movie of love, friendship, or self-discovery. As it tried to be all three, the outcome did not prove satisfactory.

Rating: 2 / 5

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 8.37.11 PM

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