Cole (Zac Effron) DJs at a local club. But only in a side room. His friends, Mason (Jonny Weston), Ollie (Shiloh Fernandez), and Squirrel (Alex Shaffer) are promoters at the club. That means they scour college campuses trying to get people to come to the club. While they all live in the valley, they dream of much more.
Cole meets big-time DJ, James Reed (Wes Bentley). James takes Cole under his wing and mentors him in how to have a real voice in the EDM world. As Cole tries to establish himself as a DJ, he is exposed to the darker, drug-filled side of the life. James’ girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) also sees potential in Cole. But there may be more than just interest in his development in the music world.
As Cole and his friends get a taste of the finer life, they start to live it up. But everything has a price.
The movie starts off well enough. Scenes at the club with Cole and his crew. A pool party, complete with a lesson in the “science” of being a DJ who can get the crowd going. But it quickly shifts gears. The gritty, somber reality of what all is involved with making it big as a DJ takes over. As expected, there is plenty of drugs and alcohol involved. Those who seem to have it all together really don’t. And, of course, there has to be some sort of life altering event.
If you want to get audiences to the theaters, you cast ridiculously good-looking people as your leads. WAYF stars Zac Effron and Emily Ratajkowski. The pair have good chemistry on-screen, even if their story arc is predictable. Luckily, their performances are more than skin deep. Cole’s struggle and desire are believable and visible in even subtle changes in Zac’s expressions. He mostly steers clear of his bro-mentality, showing he is capable of being more than just a frat party boy. It suits him well.
The boys in Cole’s crew aren’t bad, either. Sure, it’s a somewhat clichéd group with a somewhat predictable story, but it works for the film. You can feel some real camaraderie between them. Wes Bentley’s character is a bit too stereotypical and you can easily see where things are going. It’s fine, because that’s the core of the story, but we’ve seen it before.
Overall, We Are Your Friends isn’t a bad film. It’s just not a great film. It’s too dark and doesn’t present us with anything we haven’t seen many times before. The biggest complaint I heard was that Zac Effron keeps his shirt on entirely too much. If that is what is drawing you to the movie, sorry. Wait for the RedBox on this one.