Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 30th 2015 Contents Zac Effron in the new DJ based movie We Are Your Friends.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 30, 2015
Part electronic dance music tutorial
and part love letter to Los Angeles
San Fernando Valley, We Are Your
Friends is a surprisingly accessible
and sweet story of a group of friends
standing on the cusp of adulthood
with big ambition and little direction.
Regardless of your taste for pulsing
electronic music or actor Zac Efron,
both are undeniably appealing in this
feature debut from director and co-
writer Max Joseph. Though the plot
may be predictable, Joseph energises
his coming-of-age musical romance
with creative animation, explosive dance
scenes and a vibrant soundtrack that s
like an entree to the EDM genre. And
Efron brings such heart to the main
character, he s easy to root for.
For Cole (Efron) and his buddies, the
glittery promise of Hollywood is so
close, they can practically see it from
their hometown 10 miles away in the
Valley s suburban sprawl. Cole is an
aspiring DJ, and his three childhood
friends are his associates and entourage.
There s his best friend and would-be
manager, Mason (Jonny Weston), drug
dealer and acting hopeful Ollie (Shiloh
Fernandez), and the requisite quiet,
sensitive guy, Squirrel (Alex Shaffer).
All of them dream of escaping the Valley
and finding success "over the hill."
When Cole isn t out jogging or par-
tying with his pals, he s in front of his
computer, mixing sounds and beats
into what he hopes will become the
signature song that launches his career.
"If you re a DJ," he says in voiceover,
"all you need is a laptop, some talent
and one track."
Cole s luck starts to change when he
meets older, established DJ James Reed
(Wes Bentley), who immediately and
inexplicably takes Cole under his wing
and becomes his mentor. Cole covets
Reed s life, from his worldwide fame
and hilltop home to his gorgeous girl-
friend/assistant, Sophie (Emily Rata-
jkowski). Reed, though, doesn t seem
so thrilled. Bentley is perfectly disaf-
fected as the seen-it-all club veteran
who parties away his days and nights,
a personified cautionary tale.
Meanwhile, Cole and his friends look
for more reliable income by taking day
jobs at a mortgage company run by a
man with obvious wealth but dubious
ethics. Here they get a glimpse into the
unrewarding alternative to achieving
their dreams. Thus, the career chal-
lenges for today s 20-somethings look
much like those of anyone coming of
age in middle-class America since the
Sophie, like Cole and his crew, is
frustrated by emerging adulthood and
searching for success. Reed encourages
a friendship between Sophie and his
protégé, suggesting they can go out
and "talk about your millennial angst."
When Cole and Sophie become more
than friends---as you knew they
would---the young DJ s future with Reed
and access to big-time gigs comes into
We Are Your Friends is less a story
of millennial angst than a formulaic
coming-of-age romance set against the
colorful backdrop of rave parties and
electronic music. It s also amusingly
educational with its inventive animation
explaining how DJs inspire audiences
to dance by illustrating how the human
circulatory system responds to various
beats-per-minute. EDM devotees might
find this trite, but it s a friendly invi-
tation for the unfamiliar.
Director Joseph (best known as a
host and producer of the MTV series
Catfish) captures the vital energy and
druggie haze of EDM parties, providing
a peek into a world not often seen on
the big screen. He shoots the wide sub-
urban streets of the sun-baked Valley
in such a way that the images almost
look like they re from another time.
And the camera loves his two impos-
sibly good-looking leads.
Efron brings warm accessibility to
Cole. Ratajkowski is so beautiful, she d
devour her scenes even if she said noth-
ing at all (which she almost does). If
only young-adult angst really looked
and sounded this good.
• Follow AP Entertainment Writer
Sandy Cohen on Twitter: @APSandy
We Are Your Friends
...an entertaining musical romp
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
WARNER BROS PICTURES
Rated: R (for language
throughout, drug use, sexual
content and some nudity)
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